Gut. 2021 Sep 21:gutjnl-2020-323054. doi: 10.1136/gutjnl-2020-323054. Online ahead of print.
OBJECTIVE: While it is recommended that patients presenting with acute upper gastrointestinal bleeding (AUGIB) should receive endoscopic intervention within 24 hours, the optimal timing is still uncertain. We aimed to assess whether endoscopy timing postadmission would affect outcomes.
DESIGN: We conducted a retrospective, territory-wide, cohort study with healthcare data from all public hospitals in Hong Kong. Adult patients (age ≥18) that presented with AUGIB between 2013 and 2019 and received therapeutic endoscopy within 48 hours (n=6474) were recruited. Patients were classified based on endoscopic timing postadmission: urgent (t≤6), early (6<t≤24) and late (24<t≤48). Baseline characteristics were balanced with inverse probability of treatment weighting. 30-day all-cause mortality, repeated therapeutic endoscopy rate, intensive care unit (ICU) admission rate and other endpoints were compared.
RESULTS: Results showed that urgent timing (n=1008) had worse outcomes compared with early endoscopy (n=3865), with higher 30-day all-cause mortality (p<0.001), repeat endoscopy rates (p<0.001) and ICU admission rates (p<0.001). Late endoscopy (n=1601) was associated with worse outcomes, with higher 30-day mortality (p=0.003), in-hospital mortality (p=0.022) and 30-day transfusion rates (p=0.018).
CONCLUSION: Compared with urgent and late endoscopy among patients who have received therapeutic endoscopies, early endoscopy was associated with superior outcomes especially among patients with non-variceal bleeding. This supports the notion that non-variceal AUGIB patients should receive endoscopy within 24 hours, but also emphasises the importance of prior resuscitation and pharmacotherapy.