Characteristics and Outcomes of Patients Undergoing Endoscopy During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Multicenter Study from New York City

John W. Blackett, Nikhil A. Kumta, Rebekah E. Dixon, Yakira David, Satish Nagula, Christopher J. DiMaio, David Greenwald, Reem Z. Sharaiha, Kartik Sampath, David Carr-Locke, Arcelia Guerson-Gil, Sammy Ho, Benjamin Lebwohl, Reuben Garcia-Carrasquillo, Anjana Rajan, Vasantham Annadurai, Tamas A. Gonda, Daniel E. Freedberg, Srihari Mahadev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has significantly impacted the practice of endoscopy, but characteristics of COVID patients undergoing endoscopy have not been adequately described. Aims: To compare findings, clinical outcomes, and patient characteristics of endoscopies performed during the pandemic in patients with and without COVID-19. Methods: This was a retrospective multicenter study of adult endoscopies at six academic hospitals in New York between March 16 and April 30, 2020. Patient and procedure characteristics including age, sex, indication, findings, interventions, and outcomes were compared in patients testing positive, negative, or untested for COVID-19. Results: Six hundred and five endoscopies were performed on 545 patients during the study period. There were 84 (13.9%), 255 (42.2%), and 266 (44.0%) procedures on COVID-positive, negative, and untested patients, respectively. COVID patients were more likely to undergo endoscopy for gastrointestinal bleeding or gastrostomy tube placement, and COVID patients with gastrointestinal bleeding more often required hemostatic interventions on multivariable logistic regression. COVID patients had increased length of stay, intensive care unit admission, and intubation rate. Twenty-seven of 521 patients (5.2%) with no or negative COVID testing prior to endoscopy later tested positive, a median of 13.5 days post-procedure. Conclusions: Endoscopies in COVID patients were more likely to require interventions, due either to more severe illness or a higher threshold to perform endoscopy. A significant number of patients endoscoped without testing were subsequently found to be COVID-positive. Gastroenterologists in areas affected by the pandemic must adapt to changing patterns of endoscopy practice and ensure pre-endoscopy COVID testing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2545-2554
Number of pages10
JournalDigestive Diseases and Sciences
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2021


  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus
  • Endoscopy
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Gastroenterology


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