COVID-19 and digestive endoscopy: Emergency endoscopic procedures and risk factors for upper gastrointestinal bleeding

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– Background – The COVID-19 pandemic has changed digestive endoscopy services around the world. Objective – This study aimed to measure the number of urgent/emergency endoscopic procedures performed in a Brazilian hospital, comparing it to the same period in the previous year, and to identify risk factors in COVID-19 patients undergoing endoscopic procedures for upper gastrointestinal bleeding (UGIB). Methods – This was a retrospective, cross-sectional, observational, single-center study. The study evaluated urgent/emergency endoscopic procedures performed on adult patients from March to August in 2019 and 2020. The COVID-19 patients included were diagnosed using RT-PCR, aged over 18 years with complete medical record information. The variables evaluated were age, sex, comorbidities, length of stay, D-dimer, need for intensive care unit (ICU) and mechanical ventilation. Student’s t-test for independent samples or the non-parametric Mann-Whitney test was used to compare quantitative variables. Categorical variables were analyzed using Fisher’s exact test. A P-value <0.05 indicated statistical significance. Results – A total of 130 urgent/emergency endoscopic procedures were performed in 2020 and 97 in 2019. During the study period, 631 patients were hospitalized due to COVID-19, of whom 16 underwent urgent/emergency endoscopic procedures, 10 (1.6%) due to UGIB. Of the variables analyzed, the need for ICU and/or mechanical ventilation during hospitalization was statistically significant as a risk factor for UGIB. Conclusion – This study showed increased urgent/emergency endoscopic procedures during the pandemic at the study site. Among the patients hospitalized with the novel coronavirus, there is a higher risk for UGIB in those needing ICU and/or mechanical ventilation.




Rosevics, L., Fossati, B. S., Teixeira, S., De Bem, R. S., & De Souza, R. C. A. (2021). COVID-19 and digestive endoscopy: Emergency endoscopic procedures and risk factors for upper gastrointestinal bleeding. Arquivos de Gastroenterologia, 58(3), 337–343.

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