Two cases of ulcerative colitis in the Bantu are reported. One patient presented with fulminant acute colitis with toxic dilatation of the colon and massive rectal haemorrhage, the second with chronic, continuous diarrhoea for over twenty years, culminating ultimately with carcinoma of the colon.
The aetiology of ulcerative colitis is discussed, together with the problems of specific diagnosis encountered in a population with a high incidence of parasitic infestation and infective diarrhoea.
It is considered that the sparseness of reports and apparent rarity of this disease in the Bantu may reflect a failure of detection rather than a true infrequent occurrence. The natural incidence of the disease may be on the increase.
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