The COVID-19 Infection Resulted Delayed Esophagogastroduodenoscopy in Patients Admitted with Variceal Bleeding: Hospital-Based Outcomes of a National Database


Internal Medicine

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Diseases (Basel, Switzerland)


During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, most healthcare services, including inpatient and outpatient procedures, got delayed. We reviewed the effect of COVID-19 infection on the timing of esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) in variceal bleeding patients and analyzed the complications of delayed EGD. Using the National Inpatient Sample (NIS) 2020, we identified patients admitted for variceal bleeding with COVID-19 infection. We performed a multivariable regression analysis and adjusted it for patient and hospital-related variables. The International Classification of Disease Tenth Revision (ICD-10) codes were used for patient selection. We measured the effect of COVID-19 on the timing of EGD and further analyzed the effect of delayed EGD on hospital-based outcomes. A total of 49,675 patients diagnosed with variceal upper gastrointestinal bleeding were analyzed, out of which 915 (1.84%) were COVID-19 positive. Variceal bleeding patients who were COVID-positive had a significantly lower rate of EGD performed within the first 24 h of admission (36.1% vs. 60.6% = 0.001) compared to the patients who tested negative for COVID-19. The performance of EGD within 24 h of admission resulted in a decrease in all-cause mortality by 70% (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 0.30, 95% CI 0.12-0.76, = 0.01) compared to EGD after 24 h. A significant decrease was noted in the odds of ICU admission rate (AOR 0.37, 95% CI 0.14-0.97, = 0.04) in patients who got EGD within the first 24 h of admission. No difference in odds of sepsis (AOR 0.44, 95% CI 0.15-1.30, = 0.14) and vasopressor use (AOR 0.34, 95% CI 0.04-2.87, = 0.32) was seen in COVID positive vs. COVID negative group. The hospital mean length of stay (2.14 days, 95% CI 4.35-0.06, = 0.06), mean total charges ($51,936, 95% CI $106,688-$2816, = 0.06), and total cost (11,489$, 95% CI 30,380$-7402$, = 0.23) was similar in both COVID-positive and -negative groups. In our study, we found that the presence of COVID-19 infection in variceal bleeding patients resulted in a significant delay in EGD compared to COVID-negative patients. This delay in EGD resulted in increased all-cause mortality and intensive care unit admissions.

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