Utility of early colonoscopy for acute lower gastrointestinal bleeding: a retrospective cohort study

Adi Lahat*, Eyal Klang, Nisim Rahman, Nitzan Halabi, Benjamin Avidan, Noam Barda

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Early colonoscopy (within 8–24 h) is recommended in different guidelines for acute lower gastrointestinal bleeding (LGIB). Despite this recommendation, evidence for its effectiveness are conflicting, and early colonoscopy is often not performed. Objectives: We aimed to evaluate the utility of early colonoscopy by examining the findings during the procedure, and by comparing in-hospital and long-term outcomes between patients who did and did not undergo early colonoscopy. Design: This is a retrospective cohort study based on the electronic medical records of a large tertiary hospital in Israel. Methods: All patients hospitalized with acute LGIB to acute wards between 2012 and 2022 were included. First, structured and free-text procedure notes from patients who did undergo early colonoscopy were examined. Second, we compared in-hospital and long-term outcomes between patients who did and did not undergo early colonoscopy while adjusting for possible confounders using multivariable regression of the type appropriate for each outcome. Results: Overall, 953 patients were included, of which 90 underwent early colonoscopy. The majority (54%) were found insufficiently prepared. Common findings were diverticulosis (38%) and colon polyps (20%). The procedure was effective for hemostasis in only 13% of the cases. Early colonoscopy was not significantly associated with increased survival (exponentiated coefficient = 1.19, 95% CI: 0.76, 1.87), decreased length of hospitalization (exponentiated coefficient = 1.08, 95% CI: 0.97, 1.21), or increased blood hemoglobin at discharge (coefficient =−0.27, 95% CI: −0.58, 0.03). Conclusions: Early colonoscopy was often not effective and was not associated with significantly improved outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTherapeutic Advances in Gastroenterology
Volume16
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2023
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • diagnostic yield
  • early colonoscopy
  • lower GI bleeding
  • prognosis

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