The diagnostic yield of urgent colonoscopy in acute lower gastrointestinal bleeding

Link to article at PubMed

Mosli M, et al. Acta Gastroenterol Belg 2020.


BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Lower Gastrointestinal Bleeding (LGIB) is one of the leading causes of ER visits. Colonoscopy is indicated in all patients with LGIB, yet the time frame for performing colonoscopy remains unclear. Whether or not urgent endoscopic evaluation improves outcomes of LGIB has been questioned. We therefore aimed to examine the success of urgent colonoscopy in identifying the source of LGIB.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: A retrospective study was conducted in which timing of colonoscopy was divided into urgent (performed within the first 24 hours of presentation) and delayed (performed following 24 hours of hospitalization). Data on clinical presentation, investigations and endoscopic findings was collected. Risk ratios were calculated and regression analysis was used to examine associations and identify predictors of endoscopic success.

RESULT: A total of 183 patients underwent colonoscopies. 55.4% of colonoscopies were performed within 24 hours of presentation. A source of LGIB was identified in 55.7% of first attempt colonoscopies. Endoscopic intervention was required in 10.9% of cases and rebleeding occurred in 24.6%, of which 6.5% required hospital re-admission. 2.7% required emergency colectomy and the calculated mortality rate was 1%. Risk ratios comparing urgent to delayed colonoscopy for source of LGIB identification, colectomy and mortality were 1.01, 4.8 and 1.2, respectively. Age and timing of colonoscopy appeared to be predictive of colectomy on regression analysis.

CONCLUSIONS: Urgent colonoscopy for LGIB did not improve the rate of identification of the source of bleeding, colectomy rate or mortality rate and was predictive of the need for emergency colectomy.


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