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1.
Dig Dis Sci ; 67(6): 1937-1947, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1877869

ABSTRACT

Diagnostic unsedated transnasal endoscopy (uTNE) has been proven to be a safe and well-tolerated procedure. Although its utilization in the United Kingdom (UK) is increasing, it is currently available in only a few centers. Through consideration of recent studies, we aimed to perform an updated review of the technological advances in uTNE, consider their impact on diagnostic accuracy, and to determine the role of uTNE in the COVID-19 era. Current literature has shown that the diagnostic accuracy of uTNE for identification of esophageal pathology is equivalent to conventional esophagogastroduodenoscopy (cEGD). Concerns regarding suction and biopsy size have been addressed by the introduction of TNE scopes with working channels of 2.4 mm. Advances in imaging have improved detection of early gastric cancers. The procedure is associated with less cardiac stress and reduced aerosol production; when combined with no need for sedation and improved rates of patient turnover, uTNE is an efficient and safe alternative to cEGD in the COVID-19 era. We conclude that advances in technology have improved the diagnostic accuracy of uTNE to the point where it could be considered the first line diagnostic endoscopic investigation in the majority of patients. It could also play a central role in the recovery of diagnostic endoscopic services during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Barrett Esophagus , COVID-19 , Barrett Esophagus/pathology , Endoscopy, Digestive System/adverse effects , Endoscopy, Digestive System/methods , Endoscopy, Gastrointestinal/adverse effects , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control
2.
PLoS One ; 17(4): e0267112, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1817491

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: During the coronavirus-19 disease (COVID-19) pandemic, gastroenterology guidelines recommended the suspension or reduction of non-urgent endoscopy. We aimed to assess the appropriateness and safety of endoscopic activity during the pandemic first wave lockdown using European Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ESGE) recommendations. METHODS: We identified scheduled patients from the onset of the lockdown in Spain since March 16, 2020) to April 14, 2020. Daily hospital COVID-19-related burden was also registered. A similar cohort from a period immediately before the lockdown was studied (pre-lockdown cohort) to compare appropriateness. RESULTS: 454 endoscopy procedures were performed during the studied period, comprising a 49.7% reduction compared to the pre-lockdown cohort (n = 913). There was a significant increase in ESGE high-priority indications (62.1% vs. 45.6%, p<0.001) associated with an increase in relevant endoscopic findings (p = 0.006), advanced neoplasia/cancer (p = 0.004) and cancer detection rate (p = 0.010). There were no differences in the rate of admissions or infection among scheduled patients in the lockdown cohort. None of the staff members tested positive for COVID-19 in the 7 days after the adoption of protective measures. CONCLUSION: A prioritized endoscopic activity is not associated with higher contagion after adopting protective measures. In addition, a triage of procedures that follow the ESGE criteria increases the rate of relevant endoscopic findings. These considerations may reduce the impact of the delays of diagnosis after the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control , Endoscopy, Gastrointestinal/adverse effects , Endoscopy, Gastrointestinal/methods , Gastrointestinal Tract , Humans , Spain/epidemiology
3.
Lancet ; 399(10335): 1603, 2022 04 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1805370
4.
Lancet Gastroenterol Hepatol ; 7(5): 485-494, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1783874

ABSTRACT

GASTROSWOT is a strategic analysis of the current and projected states of the different subspecialties in gastroenterology that aims to provide guidance for research, clinical, and financial planning in gastroenterology. We executed a consensus-based international strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analysis. Four general coordinators, six field coordinators, and 12 experts participated in the study. SWOTs were provided for the following fields: neurogastroenterology, functional gastrointestinal disorders, and upper gastrointestinal diseases; inflammatory bowel disease; pancreatology and biliary diseases; endoscopy; gastrointestinal oncology; and hepatology. The GASTROSWOT analysis highlights the following in the current state of the field of gastroenterology: the incidence and complexity of several gastrointestinal diseases, including malignancies, are increasing; the COVID-19 pandemic has affected patient care on several levels; and with the advent of technical innovations in gastroenterology, a well trained workforce and strategic planning are required to optimise health-care utilisation. The analysis calls attention to the following in the future of gastroenterology: artificial intelligence and the use of big data will speed up discovery and smarter health-care provision in the field; the growth and diversification of gastroenterological specialties will improve specialised care for patients, but could promote fragmentation of care and health system inefficiencies; and furthermore, thoughtful planning is needed to reach an effective balance between the need for subspecialists and the value of general gastroenterology services.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Gastroenterology , Gastrointestinal Diseases , Artificial Intelligence , Endoscopy, Gastrointestinal , Gastrointestinal Diseases/diagnosis , Gastrointestinal Diseases/therapy , Humans , Pandemics
5.
Eur J Med Res ; 27(1): 41, 2022 Mar 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1745423

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, endoscopic societies initially recommended reduction of endoscopic procedures. In particular non-urgent endoscopies should be postponed. However, this might lead to unnecessary delay in diagnosing gastrointestinal conditions. METHODS: Retrospectively we analysed the gastrointestinal endoscopies performed at the Central Endoscopy Unit of Saarland University Medical Center during seven weeks from 23 March to 10 May 2020 and present our real-world single-centre experience with an individualized rtPCR-based pre-endoscopy SARS-CoV-2 testing strategy. We also present our experience with this strategy in 2021. RESULTS: Altogether 359 gastrointestinal endoscopies were performed in the initial period. The testing strategy enabled us to conservatively handle endoscopy programme reduction (44% reduction as compared 2019) during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The results of COVID-19 rtPCR from nasopharyngeal swabs were available in 89% of patients prior to endoscopies. Apart from six patients with known COVID-19, all other tested patients were negative. The frequencies of endoscopic therapies and clinically significant findings did not differ between patients with or without SARS-CoV-2 tests. In 2021 we were able to unrestrictedly perform all requested endoscopic procedures (> 5000 procedures) by applying the rtPCR-based pre-endoscopy SARS-CoV-2 testing strategy, regardless of next waves of COVID-19. Only two out-patients (1893 out-patient procedures) were tested positive in the year 2021. CONCLUSION: A structured pre-endoscopy SARS-CoV-2 testing strategy is feasible in the clinical routine of an endoscopy unit. rtPCR-based pre-endoscopy SARS-CoV-2 testing safely allowed unrestricted continuation of endoscopic procedures even in the presence of high incidence rates of COVID-19. Given the low frequency of positive tests, the absolute effect of pre-endoscopy testing on viral transmission may be low when FFP-2 masks are regularly used.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/diagnosis , Endoscopy, Gastrointestinal/statistics & numerical data , Preoperative Care/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Germany , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Young Adult
6.
Aliment Pharmacol Ther ; 55(9): 1160-1168, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1731089

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The British Society of Gastroenterology has recommended the Edinburgh Dysphagia Score (EDS) to risk-stratify dysphagia referrals during the endoscopy COVID recovery phase. AIMS: External validation of the diagnostic accuracy of EDS and exploration of potential changes to improve its diagnostic performance. METHODS: A prospective multicentre study of consecutive patients referred with dysphagia on an urgent suspected upper gastrointestinal (UGI) cancer pathway between May 2020 and February 2021. The sensitivity and negative predictive value (NPV) of EDS were calculated. Variables associated with UGI cancer were identified by forward stepwise logistic regression and a modified Cancer Dysphagia Score (CDS) developed. RESULTS: 1301 patients were included from 19 endoscopy providers; 43% male; median age 62 (IQR 51-73) years. 91 (7%) UGI cancers were diagnosed, including 80 oesophageal, 10 gastric and one duodenal cancer. An EDS ≥3.5 had a sensitivity of 96.7 (95% CI 90.7-99.3)% and an NPV of 99.3 (97.8-99.8)%. Age, male sex, progressive dysphagia and unintentional weight loss >3 kg were positively associated and acid reflux and localisation to the neck were negatively associated with UGI cancer. Dysphagia duration <6 months utilised in EDS was replaced with progressive dysphagia in CDS. CDS ≥5.5 had a sensitivity of 97.8 (92.3-99.7)% and NPV of 99.5 (98.1-99.9)%. Area under receiver operating curve was 0.83 for CDS, compared to 0.81 for EDS. CONCLUSIONS: In a national cohort, the EDS has high sensitivity and NPV as a triage tool for UGI cancer. The CDS offers even higher diagnostic accuracy. The EDS or CDS should be incorporated into the urgent suspected UGI cancer pathway.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Deglutition Disorders , Gastrointestinal Neoplasms , Aged , Deglutition Disorders/diagnosis , Deglutition Disorders/etiology , Endoscopy, Gastrointestinal , Female , Gastrointestinal Neoplasms/complications , Gastrointestinal Neoplasms/diagnosis , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , Referral and Consultation , Triage
7.
Dig Liver Dis ; 54(5): 572-579, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1729680

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Aim of the present report was to investigate the repercussions of COVID-19 pandemic on the procedural volumes and on the main indications of pediatric digestive endoscopy in Italy. METHODS: An online survey was distributed at the beginning of December 2020 to Italian digestive endoscopy centers. Data were collected comparing two selected time intervals: the first from 1st of February 2019 to 30th June 2019 and the second from 1st February 2020 to 30th June 2020. RESULTS: Responses to the survey came from 24 pediatric endoscopy Units. Globally, a reduction of 37.2% was observed between 2019 and 2020 periods with a significant decrease in median number of procedures (111 vs 57, p < 0.001). Both the median number of procedures performed for new diagnoses and those for follow-up purposes significantly decreased in 2020 (63 vs 36, p < 0.001 and 42 vs 21, p< 0.001, respectively). We reported a drastic reduction of procedures performed for suspected Celiac Disease and Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (55.1% and 58.0%, respectively). Diagnostic endoscopies for suspected IBD decreased of 15.5%, whereas procedures for Mucosal Healing (MH) assessment reduced of 48.3%. CONCLUSIONS: Our study provides real-world data outlining the meaningful impact of COVID-19 on pediatric endoscopy practice in Italy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Child , Endoscopy , Endoscopy, Gastrointestinal , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
9.
J Gastroenterol Hepatol ; 37(5): 878-882, 2022 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1691504

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND AIM: Changes to endoscopy service availability during the COVID-19 pandemic may have affected management of upper gastrointestinal bleeding (UGIB). The aim of this study was to describe the impact of the pandemic on UGIB outcomes in the Toronto area in Canada. METHODS: We described all adults admitted to general medicine wards or intensive care units at six hospitals in Toronto and Mississauga, Canada, with UGIB during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic (March 1 to June 30, 2020) and compared them with a historical cohort (March 1 to June 30, 2018 and 2019). We compared clinical outcomes (in-hospital mortality, length of stay, 30-day readmission, intensive care utilization, receipt of endoscopy, persistent bleeding, receipt of second endoscopy, and need for angiographic or surgical intervention) using multivariable regression models, controlling for demographics, comorbidities, and severity of clinical presentation. RESULTS: There were 82.5 and 215.5 admissions per month for UGIB during the COVID-19 and control periods, respectively. There were no baseline differences between groups for demographic characteristics, comorbidities, or severity of bleeding. Patients in the COVID-19 group did not have significantly different unadjusted (3.9% vs 4.2%, P = 0.983) or adjusted mortality (adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 0.64, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.25-1.48, P = 0.322). Patients in COVID-19 group were less likely to receive endoscopy for UGIB in the unadjusted (61.8% vs 71.0%, P = 0.003) and adjusted (adjusted OR = 0.64, 95% CI = 0.49-0.84, P < 0.01) models. There were no differences between groups for other secondary outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: While patients admitted for UGIB during the first wave of the pandemic were less likely to receive endoscopy, this had no impact on mortality or any secondary outcomes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Endoscopy, Gastrointestinal , Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage/epidemiology , Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage/etiology , Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage/therapy , Hospital Mortality , Humans , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies
10.
Rev Esp Enferm Dig ; 114(5): 303-304, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1614378

ABSTRACT

A retrospective analysis of admissions to the pediatric emergency department that required emergency endoscopy was performed, to evaluate if changes in the lifestyle and hospital practices imposed by the pandemic had an impact on the frequency and profile of the emergency endoscopy. The first 6 months of the pandemic (Group A) were compared with the homologous period of the previous year (Group B). Eight-nine cases were analyzed. Most emergency endoscopies occurred in children under the age of two (28%) and most of these were in Group A (p = 0.009). More foreign bodies were removed in Group A (p = 0.026). There were no statistically significant differences in the time to reach the emergency department (p = 0.934) or in the time delay since emergency room admission until the endoscopic procedure (p = 0.266). Overall, the pandemic did not seem to affect the quality of healthcare practice regarding emergency endoscopic procedures.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pediatrics , Child , Emergency Service, Hospital , Endoscopy, Gastrointestinal , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
11.
Acta Gastroenterol Belg ; 84(4): 627-635, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1593052

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to unprecedented disruptions in fellowship training programs worldwide. In gastroenterology, the strain in healthcare service provision and the emphasis on preventing viral transmission has adversely impacted hands-on training opportunities, with trainees facing the constant pressure to meet training requirements under the continuous threat of viral transmission. Emerging evidence highlight the scale of the problem, specifically with regard to endoscopy competence due to cancellation of elective endoscopic procedures, provision of inpatient and outpatient consultative care as well as academic education and the mental well-being of trainees. As such, it has been necessary for trainees, trainers and training programs collectively to adapt to these challenges and incorporate novel and adaptive solutions to circumvent these training barriers. This review aims to summarise data on the global impact of COVID-19 on gastroenterology training and the practical interventions that could be implemented.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Gastroenterology , Endoscopy, Gastrointestinal , Fellowships and Scholarships , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
13.
Dig Dis ; 39(6): 663-672, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1573723

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The COVID-19 pandemic drastically changed hospital workflows. This study aimed to characterize differences in gastrointestinal endoscopies in the New York metropolitan region before, during, and after the first wave of the pandemic. METHODS: Across 3 hospitals, we compared demographics, indications, and yield of endoscopies before and after March 16, 2020, the date on which elective procedures were canceled, as well as a recovery period for 5 months after they were resumed. RESULTS: A total of 9,401 procedures before and 332 procedures during the first wave were performed. Females comprised 57 and 44% of patients (p < 0.01), respectively. There was a decline in the proportion of Black (15 vs. 7%, p < 0.02) and Hispanic patients (29 vs. 16%, p < 0.02) undergoing outpatient procedures. There was a significant rise in urgent indications such as bleeding and jaundice. There was an increase in the diagnostic yield of all esophagogastroduodenoscopies for bleeding (p < 0.01) and of outpatient endoscopic ultrasounds for malignancy (p = 0.01), but no increase in yield of inpatient colonoscopy for bleeding. A review of 7,475 procedures during the recovery period showed a return to many nonurgent indications, but still showed decreased proportions of Hispanic and male patients compared to the prepandemic period. DISCUSSION/CONCLUSION: Lower proportions of Black and Hispanic patients underwent outpatient endoscopies during and after the first wave. The proportion of procedures done for emergent indications and their diagnostic yield increased during the pandemic, suggesting a higher threshold to perform endoscopy. In resource-sparing conditions, clinicians should pay attention to thresholds to perform colonoscopy for bleeding and to racial disparities in outpatient healthcare access.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Endoscopy, Gastrointestinal , Female , Humans , Male , New York/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
15.
J Clin Gastroenterol ; 55(10): e87-e91, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1562002

ABSTRACT

GOALS: The present survey from the Italian Society of Digestive Endoscopy (SIED-Società Italiana di Endoscopia Digestiva) was aimed at reporting infection control practice and outcomes at Digestive Endoscopy Units in a high-incidence area. BACKGROUND: Lombardy was the Italian region with the highest coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) prevalence, at the end of March 2020 accounting for 20% of all worldwide deaths. Joint Gastro-Intestinal societies released recommendations for Endoscopy Units to reduce the risk of the contagion. However, there are few data from high-prevalence areas on adherence to these recommendations and on their efficacy. METHODS: A survey was designed by the Lombardy section of SIED to analyze (a) changes in activity and organization, (b) adherence to recommendations, (c) rate of health care professionals' (HCP) infection during the COVID-19 outbreak. RESULTS: In total, 35/61 invited centers (57.4%) participated; most modified activities were according to recommendations and had filtering face piece 2/filtering face piece 3 and water-repellent gowns available, but few had negative-pressure rooms or provided telephonic follow-up; 15% of HCPs called in sick and 6% had confirmed COVID-19. There was a trend (P=0.07) toward different confirmed COVID-19 rates among endoscopists (7.9%), nurses (6.6%), intermediate-care technicians (3.4%), and administrative personnel (2.2%). There was no correlation between the rate of sick HCPs and COVID-19 incidence in the provinces and personal protective equipment availability and use, whereas an inverse correlation with hospital volume was found. CONCLUSIONS: Adherence to recommendations was rather good, though a minority were able to follow all recommendations. Confirmed COVID-19 seemed higher among endoscopists and nurses, suggesting that activities in the endoscopy rooms are at considerable viral spread risk.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Endoscopy, Gastrointestinal , Humans , Infection Control , Italy/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
16.
Arq Gastroenterol ; 58(3): 267-268, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1551356
17.
Expert Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol ; 15(12): 1349-1359, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1532355

ABSTRACT

Endoscopists are at high risk of exposure and nosocomial transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2 virus) when performing endoscopic procedures due to the highly aerosol generating nature of these procedures. At present, there is still no consensus among endoscopists with regards to the type of protective equipment to be worn by healthcare workers, when performing endoscopy during the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. This review encompasses a summary of currently published guidelines related to the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) when performing endoscopic procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic. With increasing calls to rationalize the use of PPE due to shortages in global supply chains, the review offers a concise summary on the most appropriate and adequate use of PPE when performing endoscopy during the pandemic. It is expected that these adaptations in the use of PPE during the pandemic will help to improve standards of care and safety of healthcare workers.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Endoscopy, Gastrointestinal , Infection Control/methods , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional/prevention & control , Personal Protective Equipment/supply & distribution , Personal Protective Equipment/standards , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
18.
Surg Endosc ; 35(12): 6532-6538, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1530321

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: This study was aimed to develop a computer-aided diagnosis (CAD) system with deep-learning technique and to validate its efficiency on detecting the four categories of lesions such as polyps, advanced cancer, erosion/ulcer and varices at endoscopy. METHODS: A deep convolutional neural network (CNN) that consists of more than 50 layers were trained with a big dataset containing 327,121 white light images (WLI) of endoscopy from 117,005 cases collected from 2012 to 2017. Two CAD models were developed using images with or without annotation of the training dataset. The efficiency of the CAD system detecting the four categories of lesions was validated by another dataset containing consecutive cases from 2018 to 2019. RESULTS: A total of 1734 cases with 33,959 images were included in the validation datasets which containing lesions of polyps 1265, advanced cancer 500, erosion/ulcer 486, and varices 248. The CAD system developed in this study may detect polyps, advanced cancer, erosion/ulcer and varices as abnormality with the sensitivity of 88.3% and specificity of 90.3%, respectively, in 0.05 s. The training datasets with annotation may enhance either sensitivity or specificity about 20%, p = 0.000. The sensitivities and specificities for polyps, advanced cancer, erosion/ulcer and varices reached about 90%, respectively. The detect efficiency for the four categories of lesions reached to 89.7%. CONCLUSION: The CAD model for detection of multiple lesions in gastrointestinal lumen would be potentially developed into a double check along with real-time assessment and interpretation of the findings encountered by the endoscopists and may be a benefit to reduce the events of missing lesions.


Subject(s)
Artificial Intelligence , Neural Networks, Computer , Endoscopy, Gastrointestinal , Gastrointestinal Tract , Humans , Pilot Projects
19.
Biomed Pap Med Fac Univ Palacky Olomouc Czech Repub ; 165(4): 380-385, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1518731

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: COVID-19 pandemic has impacted on all endoscopy centers in the Czech Republic, that belongs to the most affected countries in the world. The aim of our study was to analyze all procedures following routine RT-PCR testing in our tertiary center during the peak of the pandemic. METHODS: We retrospectively analyzed all procedures performed from October 2020 to January 2021 after a new RT-PCR center had been set up. Main outcomes were type of scheduled procedure, indication, rate of therapeutic interventions and rate of new relevant and malignant findings. Comparison to the same period before the pandemic and SARS-CoV-2 infection in endoscopy staff are also reported. RESULTS: A total of 1,953 procedures were performed. 624 patients were referred with a negative RT-PCR test and the remaining 1,346 patients were tested in the new center. 1,293 negative tests led to 1,329 procedures. A new relevant finding was reported in 589 (44.3%), including new malignancy in 56 (4.2%). 53 patients tested positive (3.9%). There was a reduction by 9% in the number of all procedures compared to the same period before the pandemic and an increase in the number of screening colonoscopies and ERCP procedures. In the study period, 9 of 54 staff members contracted SARS-CoV-2 infection. CONCLUSIONS: Routine RT-PCR testing of patients scheduled for elective endoscopy during the peak of COVID-19 pandemic enabled us to essentially maintain our unit productivity, including activities such as screening colonoscopy, endoscopic resection and pancreatobiliary endoscopy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Endoscopy, Gastrointestinal , Pandemics , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , Czech Republic , Diagnostic Tests, Routine , Humans , Retrospective Studies , Tertiary Care Centers
20.
Digestion ; 103(1): 7-21, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1511552

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The COVID-19 outbreak abruptly restricted gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy services during the first wave of the pandemic. We aimed to assess the impact of COVID-19 on the practice of GI endoscopy in Asian countries. METHODS: This was an International Questionnaire-based Internet Survey conducted at multiple facilities by the International Gastrointestinal Consensus Symposium. A total of 166 respondents in Japan, China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, and Singapore participated in this study. RESULTS: The volume of endoscopic screening or follow-up endoscopies and therapeutic endoscopies were markedly reduced during the first wave of the pandemic, which was mainly attributed to the decreased number of outpatients, cancellations by patients, and adherence to the guidelines of academic societies. The most common indications for GI endoscopy during the first wave were GI bleeding, cholangitis or obstructive jaundice, and a highly suspicious case of neoplasia. The most common GI symptoms of COVID-19 patients during the infected period included diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. The pandemic exacerbated some GI diseases, such as functional dyspepsia and irritable bowel syndrome. There were cases with delayed diagnosis of cancers due to postponed endoscopic procedures, and the prescription of proton pump inhibitors/potassium-competitive acid blockers, steroids, immunosuppressive agents, and biologics was delayed or canceled. The personal protective equipment used during endoscopic procedures for high-risk patients were disposable gloves, disposable gowns, N95 or equivalent masks, and face shields. However, the devices on the patient side during endoscopic procedures included modified surgical masks, mouthpieces with filters, and disposable vinyl boxes or aerosol boxes covering the head. Furthermore, the time for education, basic research, clinical research, and daily clinical practice decreased during the first wave. CONCLUSION: This study demonstrated that the COVID-19 pandemic profoundly affected the method of performing GI endoscopy and medical treatment for patients with GI diseases in Asian countries.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Endoscopy , Endoscopy, Gastrointestinal , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
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