COVID-19 and endoscopic management of superficial gastrointestinal neoplastic lesions: a multinational cross-sectional survey
Introduction We aimed to report the impact of the pandemic lockdown period on the treatment and prognosis of superficial gastrointestinal neoplastic lesions.
Methods A survey was completed by 11 centers from four continents regarding postponements during the early lockdown period of the pandemic, and the same period in 2019.
Results In 2020, 55 % of the scheduled procedures were deferred, which was 11 times higher than in 2019; the main reasons were directly related to COVID-19. In countries that were highly affected, this proportion rose to 76 % vs. 26 % in those where there was less impact. Despite the absolute reduction, the relative distribution in 2019 vs. 2020 was similar, the only exception being duodenal lesions (affected by a 92 % reduction in mucosectomies). Although it is expected that the majority of postponements will not affect the stage (based on the results from biopsies and/or endoscopic appearance), 3 % of delayed procedures will probably require surgery.
Conclusions The lockdown period caused by the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic led to a substantial reduction in the number of endoscopic resections for neoplastic lesions. Nevertheless, based on clinical judgment, the planned median delay will not worsen the prognosis of the affected patients.
Received: 23 May 2020
Accepted: 11 August 2020
11 August 2020 (online)
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