Esophagus to Small Intestine
Timing of endoscopy for acute upper gastrointestinal bleeding: A territory-wide cohort study
Objective: While it is recommended that patients presenting with acute upper gastrointestinal bleeding (UGIB) should receive endoscopic intervention within 24 hours, the optimal timing is still uncertain. The authors aimed to assess whether endoscopy timing postadmission would affect outcomes.
Design: They conducted a retrospective, territory-wide, cohort study with healthcare data from all public hospitals in Hong Kong. Adult patients (age ≥ 18) that presented with acute UGIB 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 end points 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 patients with non-variceal acute upper gastrointestinal bleeding should receive endoscopy within 24 hours, but also emphasizes the importance of prior resuscitation and pharmacotherapy.