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Effectiveness of endoscopy in patients admitted to the intensive care unit with upper GI hemorrhage

Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
DOI: 10.1067/mge.2001.108965
  • Medicine


Abstract Background: Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) is generally indicated for the management of patients admitted to intensive care units (ICUs) with upper gastrointestinal (GI) hemorrhage but its impact in community practice has not been measured. Thus, the effectiveness of 3 EGD factors, viz., accurate initial diagnosis, performance within 24 hours of admission (early EGD), and appropriate intervention, was examined. Methods: Records of 214 patients admitted to the ICU of 10 metropolitan hospitals with upper GI hemorrhage were reviewed. Unadjusted and severity-adjusted associations of the 3 EGD factors with length of hospital stay, length of ICU stay, readmission to ICU, recurrent bleeding, surgery, and death were evaluated. Results: Inaccurate diagnosis occurred in 10% of patients at initial EGD and was associated with significant increases in risk of recurrent bleeding (70% vs. 11%, p < 0.001), rate of surgery (20% vs. 4%, p < 0.05), length of hospital stay (median 7.5 vs. 5 days, p < 0.005), length of ICU stay (median 4 vs. 2 days, p < 0.005), and rate of readmission to ICU (20% vs. 0.6%, p < 0.001). These associations persisted after adjusting for severity of illness. Early EGD performed in 82% of patients was associated with significant severity-adjusted reductions in hospital (−33%: 95% CI [−45%, −18%]) and ICU (−20%: 95% CI [−24%, −3%]) stay. Appropriate intervention at initial EGD, performed in 84% of patients, was associated with reductions in severity-adjusted length of ICU stay (−18%: 95% CI [−32%, 0%]) and rate of recurrent bleeding (odds ratio = 0.37, 95% CI [0.13, 1.06]). Conclusions: Early, accurate EGD with appropriate therapeutic intervention is effective as practiced in the community and is associated with improved outcomes for patients with upper GI hemorrhage admitted to the ICU. Inaccurate diagnosis at initial EGD is uncommon but has a significant adverse association with all outcome measures. (Gastrointest Endosc 2001;53:6-13.)

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