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1.  Pilot Validation Study: Canadian Global Rating Scale for Colonoscopy Services 
Background. The United Kingdom Global Rating Scale (GRS-UK) measures unit-level quality metrics processes in digestive endoscopy. We evaluated the psychometric properties of its Canadian version (GRS-C), endorsed by the Canadian Association of Gastroenterology (CAG). Methods. Prospective data collection at three Canadian endoscopy units assessed GRS-C validity, reliability, and responsiveness to change according to responses provided by physicians, endoscopy nurses, and administrative personnel. These responses were compared to national CAG endoscopic quality guidelines and GRS-UK statements. Results. Most respondents identified the overarching theme each GRS-C item targeted, confirming face validity. Content validity was suggested as 18 out of 23 key CAG endoscopic quality indicators (78%, 95% CI: 56–93%) were addressed in the GRS-C; statements not included pertained to educational programs and competency monitoring. Concordance ranged 75–100% comparing GRS-C and GRS-UK ratings. Test-retest reliability Kappa scores ranged 0.60–0.83, while responsiveness to change scores at 6 months after intervention implementations were greater (P < 0.001) in two out of three units. Conclusion. The GRS-C exhibits satisfactory metrics, supporting its use in a national quality initiative aimed at improving processes in endoscopy units. Data collection from more units and linking to actual patient outcomes are required to ensure that GRS-C implementation facilitates improved patient care.
PMCID: PMC5093241  PMID: 27840810
2.  Safety of Digestive Endoscopy following Acute Coronary Syndrome: A Systematic Review 
Background. The safety of endoscopy after an acute coronary syndrome (ACS) is poorly characterized. We thus performed a systematic review assessing the safety of endoscopy following ACS. Methods. Searches in EMBASE, Medline, and Web of Science identified articles for inclusion. Data abstraction was completed by two independent reviewers. Results. Fourteen retrospective studies yielded 1178 patients (mean 71.3 years, 59.0% male) having suffered an ACS before endoscopy. Patients underwent 1188 endoscopies primarily to investigate suspected gastrointestinal bleeding (81.2%). Overall, 810 EGDs (68.2%), 191 colonoscopies (16.1%), 100 sigmoidoscopies (8.4%), 64 PEGs (5.4%), and 22 ERCPs (1.9%) were performed 9.0 ± 5.2 days after ACS, showing principally ulcer disease (25.1%; 95% CI 22.2–28.3%) and normal findings (22.9%; 95% CI 20.1–26.0%). Overall, 108 peri- and postprocedural complications occurred (9.1%; 95% CI 7.6–10.9%), with hypotension (24.1%; 95% CI 17.0–32.9%), arrhythmias (8.1%; 95% CI 4.5–18.1%), and repeat ACS (6.5%; 95% CI 3.1–12.8%) as the most frequent. All-cause mortality was 8.1% (95% CI 6.3–10.4%), with 4 deaths attributed to endoscopy (<24 hours after ACS, 3.7% of all complications; 95% CI 1.5–9.1%). Conclusion. A significant proportion of possibly endoscopy-related negative outcomes occur following ACS. Further studies are required to better characterize indications, patient selection, and appropriate timing of endoscopy in this cohort.
PMCID: PMC4904658  PMID: 27446879
3.  Timing of rebleeding in high-risk peptic ulcer bleeding after successful hemostasis: A systematic review 
Acute upper gastrointestinal bleeding accounts for a significant number of hospital admissions per year, and is a major contributor to mortality and morbidity. Despite advances in endoscopic hemostatic techniques and pharmacological management, previous studies showed that a subset of patients tend to rebleed within three days of initial hemostatic treatment. However, many of these earlier studies excluded individuals who did not necessarily reflect contemporary patient populations, nor have more recent randomized clinical trials clarified current rebleeding rates. Accordingly, this comprehensive review aimed to shed light on the timing of peptic ulcer rebleeding in patients with high-risk stigmata.
Peptic ulcer rebleeding (PUR) usually occurs within three days following endoscopic hemostasis. However, recent data have increasingly suggested delayed rebleeding.
To better characterize the timing of PUR (Forrest Ia to IIb) following initially successful endoscopic hemostasis.
An exhaustive literature search (1989 to 2013), with cross-referencing, was performed to identify pertinent randomized controlled trial (RCT) arms. Patients receiving high-dose proton pump inhibitor (PPI) infusion following successful modern-day endoscopic hemostasis were included. A sensitivity analysis included any patients receiving PPI doses >40 mg daily. The main outcome measure was 30-day rebleeding, while weighted mean averages at t = three, seven, 14 and 28 to 30 days are also reported.
Of 756 citations, six RCTs were included (561 patients; 58.5% to 89.5% male; 55.3 to 67.5 years of age). Among patients receiving high-dose PPI (five RCTs [393 patients]), 11.5% (95% CI 8.4% to 14.7%) experienced rebleeding, 55.6% (95% CI 41.1% to 70.1%) rebled within three days, 20% (95% CI 8.3% to 31.7%) between four and seven days, 17.8% (95% CI 6.6% to 28.9%) at eight to 14 days, and 6.7% (95% CI 0% to 14%) at 15 to 28 to 30 days. Using the relaxed lower PPI dosing threshold, similar respective rates were 14.4% (95% CI 11.5% to 17.3%) overall, with interval rates of 39.5% (95% CI 28.9% to 50.15%), 34.6% (95% CI 24.2% to 44.9%), 19.7% (95% CI 11% to 28.4%) and 6.2% (95% CI 0.95% to 11.5%). Qualitative review of patient characteristics, limited by small sample size, possible bias and study heterogeneity, suggested increased patient comorbidity and postendoscopic use of lower PPI dosing may predict delayed rebleeding.
In patients with high-risk PUR undergoing successful endoscopic hemostasis, most rebled within three days, with many experiencing later rebleeding. Additional research is needed to better predict such an outcome.
PMCID: PMC4234354  PMID: 25390616
Endoscopic therapy; High-risk stigmata; Peptic ulcer bleeding; Rebleeding; Timing
4.  Red Blood Cell Transfusions and Iron Therapy for Patients Presenting with Acute Upper Gastrointestinal Bleeding: A Survey of Canadian Gastroenterologists and Hepatologists 
Introduction. There is limited data evaluating physician transfusion practices in patients with acute upper gastrointestinal bleeding (UGIB). Methods. A web-based survey was sent to 500 gastroenterologists and hepatologists across Canada. The survey included clinical vignettes where physicians were asked to choose transfusion thresholds. Results. The response rate was 41% (N = 203). The reported hemoglobin (Hgb) transfusion trigger differed by up to 50 g/L. Transfusions were more liberal in hemodynamically unstable patients compared to stable patients (mean Hgb of 86.7 g/L versus 71.0 g/L; p < 0.001). Many clinicians (24%) reported transfusing a hemodynamically unstable patient at a Hgb threshold of 100 g/L and the majority (57%) are transfusing two units of RBCs as initial management. Patients with coronary artery disease (mean Hgb of 84.0 g/L versus 71.0 g/L; p < 0.01) or cirrhosis (mean Hgb of 74.4 g/L versus 71.0 g/L; p < 0.01) were transfused more liberally than healthy patients. Fewer than 15% would prescribe iron to patients with UGIB who are anemic upon discharge. Conclusions. The transfusion practices of gastroenterologists in the management of UGIB vary widely and more high-quality evidence is needed to help assess the efficacy and safety of selected transfusion thresholds in varying patients presenting with UGIB.
PMCID: PMC4940523  PMID: 27446847
5.  Predictors of early rebleeding after endoscopic therapy in patients with nonvariceal upper gastrointestinal bleeding secondary to high-risk lesions 
In an era of increasingly shortened admissions, data regarding predictors of early rebleeding among patients with nonvariceal upper gastrointestinal bleeding (NVUGIB) exhibiting high-risk stigmata (HRS) having undergone endoscopic hemostasis are lacking.
To determine predictors of early rebleeding, defined as rebleeding before completion of recommended 72 h intravenous proton pump inhibitor infusion postendoscopic hemostasis.
Data from a national registry of patients with upper gastrointestinal bleeding (the REASON registry) were accessed. Univariable and multivariable analyses were sequentially performed to identify significant independent predictors among a comprehensive list of clinical and laboratory characteristics.
Overall, 393 patients underwent endoscopic hemostasis for NVUGIB with HRS. Forty patients rebled ≤72 h thereafter (32.5% female, mean [± SD] age 70.2±11.8 years, 2.88±2.11 comorbidities), while 21 rebled later (38.1% female, mean 70.5±14.1 years of age, 2.62±2.06 comorbidities). Hematemesis or bright red blood per nasogastric tube aspirate was identified as the sole independent significant predictor of early rebleeding versus later among both NVUGIB and, more specifically, patients with peptic ulcer bleeding (OR 7.94 [95% CI 1.80 to 35.01]; P<0.01, and OR 8.41 [95% CI 1.54 to 46.10]; P=0.014, respectively).
When attempting to determine the optimal duration of pharmacotherapy and timing of discharge for patients following endoscopic hemostasis for NVUGIB with HRS, it is noteworthy that individuals who present with hematemesis or bright red blood per nasogastric tube aspirate are at particularly high risk for rebleeding within the first 72 h.
PMCID: PMC3956029  PMID: 23936874
Bleeding; Endoscopic therapy; Hemostasis; High-risk stigmata; Nonvariceal; Upper gastrointestinal tract
6.  At the Crossroad with Morbidity and Mortality Conferences: Lessons Learned through a Narrative Systematic Review 
Objective. To determine the process and structure of Morbidity and Mortality Conference (MMC) and to provide guidelines for conducting MMC. Methods. Using a narrative systematic review methodology, literature search was performed from January 1, 1950, to October 2, 2012. Original articles in adult population were included. MMC process and structure, as well as baseline study demographics, main results, and conclusions, were collected. Results. 38 articles were included. 10/38 (26%) pertained to medical subspecialties and 25/38 (66%) to surgical subspecialties. 15/38 (40%) were prospective, 14/38 (37%) retrospective, 7/38 (18%) interventional, and 2/38 (5%) cross-sectional. The goals were quality improvement and education. Of the 10 medical articles, MMC were conducted monthly 60% of the time. Cases discussed included complications (60%), deaths (30%), educational values (30%), and system issues (40%). Recommendations for improvements were made frequently (90%). Of the 25 articles in surgery, MMCs were weekly (60% of the time). Cases covered mainly complications (72%) and death (52%), with fewer cases dedicated to education (12%). System issues and recommendations were less commonly reported. Conclusion. Fundamental differences existed in medical versus surgical departments in conducting MMC, although the goals remained similar. We provide a schematic guideline for MMC through a summary of existing literature.
PMCID: PMC4904689  PMID: 27446868
7.  Partially covered self-expandable metal stents versus polyethylene stents for malignant biliary obstruction: A cost-effectiveness analysis 
The low upfront costs and ease of insertion of polyethylene stents to palliate malignant biliary obstruction has, in large part, supported their popularity and continued use. Although initially more expensive, self-expandable metal stents have not been shown to prolong survival; however, they have shown superior clinical efficacy and long-term cost effectiveness. Advances in technology and endoscopic procedures has reignited this debate and, in part, prompted the analysis presented in this study.
Partially covered self-expandable metal stents (SEMS) and polyethylene stents (PES) are both commonly used in the palliation of malignant biliary obstruction. Although SEMS are significantly more expensive, they are more efficacious than PES. Accordingly, a cost-effectiveness analysis was performed.
A cost-effectiveness analysis compared the approach of initial placement of PES versus SEMS for the study population. Patients with malignant biliary obstruction underwent an endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography to insert the initial stent. If the insertion failed, a percutaneous transhepatic cholangiogram was performed. If stent occlusion occurred, a PES was inserted at repeat endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, either in an outpatient setting or after admission to hospital if cholangitis was present. A third-party payer perspective was adopted. Effectiveness was expressed as the likelihood of no occlusion over the one-year adopted time horizon. Probabilities were based on a contemporary randomized clinical trial, and costs were issued from national references. Deterministic and probabilistic sensitivity analyses were performed.
A PES-first strategy was both more expensive and less efficacious than an SEMS-first approach. The mean per-patient costs were US$6,701 for initial SEMS and US$20,671 for initial PES, which were associated with effectiveness probabilities of 65.6% and 13.9%, respectively. Sensitivity analyses confirmed the robustness of these results.
At the time of initial endoscopic drainage for patients with malignant biliary obstruction undergoing palliative stenting, an initial SEMS insertion approach was both more effective and less costly than a PES-first strategy.
PMCID: PMC4610649  PMID: 26125107
Biliary obstruction; Cost-effectiveness; Gastrointestinal cancer; Stent
8.  Polyethylene glycol versus sodium picosulfalte bowel preparation in the setting of a colorectal cancer screening program 
Although adequate bowel preparation is a key predictor of colonoscopy quality, significant debate continues over which colon cleansing method, regimen or product is best. In addition, preparation tolerability and patient compliance are also important factors that impact the success of the procedure. Conducted in a cancer screening program setting, this study assessed bowel cleanliness following different colonoscopy preparations, and also aimed to identify other factors and regimens proposed to be independent predictors of inadequate preparation.
Adequate bowel preparation for colonoscopy is an important predictor of colonoscopy quality.
To determine the difference in terms of effectiveness between different existing colon cleansing products in the setting of a colorectal cancer screening program.
The records of consecutive patients who underwent colonoscopy at the Montreal General Hospital (Montreal, Quebec) between April 2013 and April 2014 were retrospectively extracted from a dedicated electronic digestive endoscopic institutional database.
Overall, 2867 charts of patients undergoing colonoscopy were assessed, of which 1130 colonoscopies were performed in a screening setting; patients had adequate bowel preparation in 90%. Quality of preparation was documented in only 61%. Bowel preparation was worse in patients receiving sodium picosulfate (PICO) alone compared with polyethylene glycol, in a screening setting (OR 0.3 [95% CI 0.2 to 0.6]). Regardless of the preparation type, the odds of achieving adequate quality cleansing was 6.6 for patients receiving a split-dose regimen (OR 6.6 [95% CI 2.1 to 21.1]). In multivariable analyses, clinical variables associated with inadequate bowel preparation in combined population were use of PICO, a nonsplit regimen and inpatient status. The polyp detection rate was very high (45.6%) and was correlated with withdrawal time.
Preparation quality needs to be more consistently included in the colonoscopy report. Split-dose regimens increased the quality of colon cleansing across all types of preparations and should be the preferred method of administration. Polyethylene glycol alone provided better bowel cleansing efficacy than PICO in a screening setting but PICO remains an alternative in association with an adjuvant.
PMCID: PMC4610650  PMID: 26301330
Bowel preparation; Colonoscopy; Quality; Screening setting
9.  Adenoma detection rates decline with increasing procedural hours in an endoscopist’s workload 
Opportunistic screening colonoscopy has, in part, been credited with the decline in the incidence and mortality associated with colorectal cancer. This, in turn, has substantiated the significant efforts of regulatory bodies and gastroenterology societies in promoting improvements in colonoscopy performance and resource allocation to mitigate the economic and health care burdens of colorectal cancer. However, there are some jurisdictions where benchmarks for key quality indicators remain either unmet or are less than suboptimal. Accordingly, this study investigated the impact of several factors, including operator fatigue, on adenoma detection rate, a key colonoscopy metric.
Operator fatigue may negatively influence adenoma detection (AD) during screening colonoscopy.
To better characterize factors affecting AD, including the number of hours worked, and the number and type of procedures performed before an index screening colonoscopy.
A retrospective cohort study was conducted involving individuals undergoing a screening colonoscopy at a major tertiary care hospital in Montreal, Quebec. Individuals were identified using an endoscopic reporting database; AD was identified by an electronic chart review. A hierarchical logistic regression analysis was performed to determine the association between patient- and endoscopist-related variables and AD.
A total of 430 consecutive colonoscopies performed by 10 gastroenterologists and two surgeons were included. Patient mean (± SD) age was 63.4±10.9 years, 56.3% were males, 27.7% had undergone a previous colonoscopy and the cecal intubation rate was 95.7%. The overall AD rate was 25.7%. Age was associated with AD (OR 1.06 [95% CI 1.03 to 1.08]), while female sex (OR 0.44 [95% CI 0.25 to 0.75]), an indication for average-risk screening (OR 0.47 [95% CI 0.27 to 0.80]) and an increase in the number of hours during which endoscopies were performed before the index colonoscopy (OR 0.87 [95% CI 0.76 to 0.99]) were associated with lower AD rates. On exploratory univariable analysis, a threshold of 3 h of endoscopy time performed before the index colonoscopy was associated with decreased AD.
The number of hours devoted to endoscopies before the index colonoscopy was inversely associated with AD rate, with decreased performance possibly as early as within 3 h. This metric should be confirmed in future studies and considered when optimizing scheduling practices.
PMCID: PMC4578453  PMID: 25996612
Adenoma detection; Endoscopy workload; Screening colonoscopy
10.  Randomized trial in malignant biliary obstruction: Plastic vs partially covered metal stents 
AIM: To compare efficacy and complications of partially covered self-expandable metal stent (pcSEMS) to plastic stent (PS) in patients treated for malignant, infrahilar biliary obstruction.
METHODS: Multicenter prospective randomized clinical trial with treatment allocation to a pcWallstent® (SEMS) or a 10 French PS. Palliative patients aged ≥ 18, for infrahilar malignant biliary obstruction and a Karnofsky performance scale index > 60% from 6 participating North American university centers. Primary endpoint was time to stent failure, with secondary outcomes of death, adverse events, Karnofsky performance score and short-form-36 scale administered on a three-monthly basis for up to 2 years. Survival analyses were performed for stent failure and death, with Cox proportional hazards regression models to determine significant predictive characteristics.
RESULTS: Eighty-five patients were accrued over 37 mo, 42 were randomized to the SEMS group and 83 patients were available for analyses. Time to stent failure was 385.3 ± 52.5 d in the SEMS and 153.3 ± 19.8 d in the PS group, P = 0.006. Time to death did not differ between groups (192.3 ± 23.4 d for SEMS vs 211.5 ± 28.0 d for PS, P = 0.70). The only significant predictor was treatment allocation, relating to the time to stent failure (P = 0.01). Amongst other measured outcomes, only cholangitis differed, being more common in the PS group (4.9% vs 24.5%, P = 0.029). The small number of patients in follow-up limits longitudinal assessments of performance and quality of life. From an initially planned 120 patients, only 85 patients were recruited.
CONCLUSION: Partially covered SEMS result in a longer duration till stent failure without increased complication rates, yet without accompanying measurable benefits in survival, performance, or quality of life.
PMCID: PMC3870509  PMID: 24379581
Randomized; Biliary; Obstruction; Stent; Plastic; Metal; Palliative; Common bile duct
11.  Age Is the Only Predictor of Poor Bowel Preparation in the Hospitalized Patient 
We examine the impact of key variables on the likelihood of inpatient poor bowel preparation for colonoscopy. Records of inpatients that underwent colonoscopy at our institution between January 2010 and December 2011 were retrospectively extracted. Univariable and multivariable logistic regression models were fitted to assess the effect of clinical variables on the odds of poor preparation. Tested predictors included age; gender; use of narcotics; heavy medication burden; comorbidities; history of previous abdominal surgery; neurological disorder; product used for bowel preparation, whether or not the bowel regimen was given as split or standard dose; and time of endoscopy. Overall, 244 patients were assessed including 83 (34.0%, 95% CI: 28.1–39.9%) with poor bowel preparation. Cecal intubation was achieved in 81.1% of patients (95% CI: 76.2–86.0%). When stratified by quality of bowel preparation, cecal intubation was achieved in only 65.9% (95% CI: 60.0–71.9%) of patients with poor bowel preparation and 89.9% (95% CI: 86.1–93.7%) of patient with good bowel preparation. In multivariate logistic regression analysis, only advancing age was an independent predictor of poor bowel preparation (OR = 1.026, CI: 1.006 to 1.045, and p = 0.008). Age is the only independent predictor of poor bowel preparation amongst hospitalized patients.
PMCID: PMC4904653  PMID: 27446828
12.  Assessment of a Colonoscopy Triage Sheet for Use in a Province-Wide Population-Based Colorectal Screening Program 
Background and Aims. A colonoscopy triage sheet (CTS) integrating 6 hierarchical scheduling priorities based on indications for screening, surveillance, or symptoms was designed for colonoscopy referral. We compared CTS priority ratings by referring physicians and endoscopists, assessing yields. Methods. Retrospective study of consecutive patients. Data were collected on demographics, CTS and endoscopist priority ratings, and endoscopic findings. Weighted kappa values measured interrater agreement on priority assignment. Predictors of agreement and lesions were identified using multivariable analysis. Results. Among 1230 patients (60.3 years, 52.5% female), clinically significant lesions included tumors (1.1%), polyps per patient ≥ 10 mm (7.6%), and ileocolitis (4.6%). Moderate agreement was found between referring physician and endoscopist on all 6 priorities (weighted kappa 0.55 (0.51; 0.59)). P4 and P5 ratings predicted increased agreement (range of OR for P4: 2.47–4.57; P5: 1.58–2.93). Predictors of clinically significant findings were male gender (OR 1.44, 1.03–2.03) and P1/P2 priorities that were significantly superior to P3 (OR = 2.14; 1.04–4.43), P4 (OR = 2.90; 1.35–6.23), and P5 (OR = 4.30; 2.08–8.88). Conclusion. Priority-assignment agreement is moderate and highest for less urgent ratings. Predictors of clinically significant findings validate the hierarchal priority scheme. Broader validation and physician education are needed.
PMCID: PMC4947491  PMID: 27446841
13.  Examination of Physicians' Perception of the Indications of Colorectal Stents in the Management of Malignant Large Bowel Obstruction: A Provincial Survey 
Introduction. Data are conflicting when assessing indications for colorectal self-expandable metallic stents (SEMS) in managing acute malignant large bowel obstruction (MLO). In November 2014, European and American Societies published guidelines to aid in understanding which patients might benefit from colorectal stenting. Yet, there remain marked disparities in clinical practice. Methods. A web-based survey was sent to Gastroenterologists and Surgical Specialists across Quebec to assess physicians' knowledge and adherence to the indications for colonic SEMS placement in the management of MLO using eight clinical scenarios. Results. Out of 112 respondents, 74% preferred surgical intervention in young, healthy individuals with MLO. Advanced age and comorbidities motivated 56.3% (95% CI 47.1–65.5%) of participants to opt for SEMS placement. In palliative settings of patients undergoing chemotherapy including bevacizumab, a minority of respondents followed guidelines, 12.5% (95% CI 6.4–18.6%) for young patients and 25.0% for elderly patients (95% CI 17.0–33.0%). The pooled overall adherence to guidelines was 50.4% (95% CI 40.7–59.3%). Conclusion. This survey suggests that guidelines recommendations are not being implemented by at least half of specialists involved in the care of patients with MLO. Future studies should attempt to identify possible barriers responsible for this impaired knowledge translation and tailored educational initiatives planned accordingly.
PMCID: PMC5048041  PMID: 27725925
14.  Randomized controlled trial comparing outcomes of video capsule endoscopy with push enteroscopy in obscure gastrointestinal bleeding 
Although currently available techniques can provide a diagnosis in a highly significant proportion of cases of gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding, a small percentage of patients experience obscure GI bleeding, which, despite its rarity, is associated with significant expense and health care resource use. Several societies have endorsed video capsule endoscopy as a reliable imaging modality for patients who present with obscure GI bleeding. This study compared video capsule endoscopy with push enteroscopy with regard to a series of clinically meaningful outcomes.
Optimal management of obscure gastrointestinal bleeding (OGIB) remains unclear.
To evaluate diagnostic yields and downstream clinical outcomes comparing video capsule endoscopy (VCE) with push enteroscopy (PE).
Patients with OGIB and negative esophagogastroduodenoscopies and colonoscopies were randomly assigned to VCE or PE and followed for 12 months. End points included diagnostic yield, acute or chronic bleeding, health resource utilization and crossovers.
Data from 79 patients were analyzed (VCE n=40; PE n=39; 82.3% overt OGIB). VCE had greater diagnostic yield (72.5% versus 48.7%; P<0.05), especially in the distal small bowel (58% versus 13%; P<0.01). More VCE-identified lesions were rated possible or certain causes of bleeding (79.3% versus 35.0%; P<0.05). During follow-up, there were no differences in the rates of ongoing bleeding (acute [40.0% versus 38.5%; P not significant], chronic [32.5% versus 45.6%; P not significant]), nor in health resource utilization. Fewer VCE-first patients crossed over due to ongoing bleeding (22.5% versus 48.7%; P<0.05).
A VCE-first approach had a significant diagnostic advantage over PE-first in patients with OGIB, especially with regard to detecting small bowel lesions, affecting clinical certainty and subsequent further small bowel investigations, with no subsequent differences in bleeding or resource utilization outcomes in follow-up. These findings question the clinical relevance of many of the discovered endoscopic lesions or the ability to treat most of these effectively over time. Improved prognostication of both patient characteristics and endoscopic lesion appearance with regard to bleeding behaviour, coupled with the impact of therapeutic deep enteroscopy, is now required using adapted, high-quality study methodologies.
PMCID: PMC4373566  PMID: 25803018
Anemia; Enteroscopy; Obscure GI bleeding; Obscure GI hemorrhage; Small bowel bleeding; Videocapsule
15.  The Stretta procedure versus proton pump inhibitors and laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication in the management of gastroesophageal reflux disease: A cost-effectiveness analysis 
The Stretta procedure is an endoscopic therapy for gastroesophageal reflux disease.
To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of the Stretta procedure and that of competing strategies in the long-term management of gastroesophageal reflux disease.
A Markov model was designed to estimate costs and health outcomes in Canadian patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease over five years, from a Ministry of Health perspective. Strategies included the use of daily proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication (LNF) and the Stretta procedure. Probabilities and utilities were derived from the literature. Costs are expressed in 2006 Canadian dollars. Units of effectiveness were symptom-free months (SFMs) and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs), using a five-year time horizon.
In the analysis that used SFMs, the strategy using PPIs exhibited the lowest costs ($40 per SFM) and the greatest number of SFMs, thus dominating both the LNF and Stretta systems. But the cost-effectiveness analysis using QALYs as the measure of effectiveness showed that PPIs presented the lowest cost-effectiveness ratio, while both the LNF and Stretta strategies were associated with very high incremental costs (approximately $353,000 and $393,000, respectively) to achieve an additional QALY. However, the PPI strategy did not dominate the two other strategies, which were associated with better effectiveness.
If SFMs are used as the measure of effectiveness, PPIs dominate the Stretta and LNF strategies. However, if QALYs are used, the PPIs still present the lowest cost and LNF gives the best effectiveness. Regardless of the units of effectiveness or utility used in the present cost analysis, an approach of prescribing PPIs appears to be the preferred strategy.
PMCID: PMC2660813  PMID: 18560633
GERD; Proton pump inhibitors; Stretta procedure
16.  Immunoglobulin G4-related pancreatic and biliary diseases 
Autoimmune pancreatitis and autoimmune cholangitis are new clinical entities that are now recognized as the pancreaticobiliary manifestations of immunoglobulin (Ig) G4-related disease.
To summarize important clinical aspects of IgG4-related pancreatic and biliary diseases, and to review the role of IgG4 in the diagnosis of autoimmune pancreatitis (AIP) and autoimmune cholangitis (AIC).
A narrative review was performed using the PubMed database and the following keywords: “IgG4”, “IgG4 related disease”, “autoimmune pancreatitis”, “sclerosing cholangitis” and “autoimmune cholangitis”. A total of 955 articles were retrieved; of these, 381 contained relevant data regarding the IgG4 molecule, pathogenesis of IgG-related diseases, and diagnosis, management and long-term follow-up for patients with AIP and AIC. Of these 381 articles, 66 of the most pertinent were selected.
The selected studies demonstrated the increasing clinical importance of both AIP and AIC, which can mimic pancreatic cancer and cholangiocarcinoma, respectively. IgG4 titration in tissue or blood cannot be used alone to diagnose all IgG4-related diseases; however, it is often a useful adjunct to clinical, radiological and histological features. AIP and AIC respond to steroids; however, relapse is common and long-term maintenance treatment often required.
A review of the diagnosis and management of both AIC and AIP is timely and pertinent to clinical practice because the amount of information regarding these conditions has increased substantially in the past few years, resulting in significant impact on the clinical management of affected patients.
PMCID: PMC3956011  PMID: 24078937
Autoimmune cholangiopathy; Autoimmune pancreatitis; Cholangiocarcinoma; IgG4; IgG4-related disease; Pancreatic cancer
17.  Current status of core and advanced adult gastrointestinal endoscopy training in Canada: Survey of existing accredited programs 
To determine the current status of core and advanced adult gastroenterology training in Canada.
A survey consisting of 20 questions pertaining to core and advanced endoscopy training was circulated to 14 accredited adult gastroenterology residency program directors. For continuous variables, median and range were analyzed; for categorical variables, percentage and associated 95% CIs were analyzed.
All 14 programs responded to the survey. The median number of core trainees was six (range four to 16). The median (range) procedural volumes for gastroscopy, colonoscopy, percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy and sigmoidoscopy, respectively, were 400 (150 to 1000), 325 (200 to 1500), 15 (zero to 250) and 60 (25 to 300). Eleven of 13 (84.6%) programs used endoscopy simulators in their curriculum. Eight of 14 programs (57%) provided a structured advanced endoscopy training fellowship. The majority (88%) offered training of combined endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) and endoscopic ultrasonography. The median number of positions offered yearly for advanced endoscopy fellowship was one (range one to three). The median (range) procedural volumes for ERCP, endoscopic ultrasonography and endoscopic mucosal resection, respectively, were 325 (200 to 750), 250 (80 to 400) and 20 (10 to 63). None of the current programs offered training in endoscopic submucosal dissection or natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery.
Most accredited adult Canadian gastroenterology programs met the minimal procedural requirements recommended by the Canadian Association of Gastroenterology during core training. However, a more heterogeneous experience has been observed for advanced training. Additional studies would be required to validate and standardize evaluation tools used during gastroenterology curricula.
PMCID: PMC3735729  PMID: 23712301
Curriculum; Education; Endoscopy; Gastroenterology
18.  Endoscopy reporting standards 
The Canadian Association of Gastroenterology (CAG) recently published consensus recommendations for safety and quality indicators in digestive endoscopy. The present article focuses specifically on the identification of key elements that should be found in all electronic endoscopy reports detailing recommendations adopted by the CAG consensus group.
A committee of nine individuals steered the CAG Safety and Quality Indicators in Endoscopy Consensus Group, which had a total membership of 35 voting individuals with knowledge on the subject relating to endoscopic services. A comprehensive literature search was performed with regard to the key elements that should be found in an electronic endoscopy report. A task force reviewed all published, full-text, adult and human studies in French or English.
Components to be entered into the standardized report include identification of procedure, timing, procedural personnel, patient demographics and history, indication(s) for procedure, comorbidities, type of bowel preparation, consent for the procedure, pre-endoscopic administration of medications, type and dose of sedation used, extent and completeness of examination, quality of bowel preparation, relevant findings and pertinent negatives, adverse events and resulting interventions, patient comfort, diagnoses, endoscopic interventions performed, details of pathology specimens, details of follow-up arrangements, appended pathology report(s) and, when available, management recommendations. Summary information should be provided to the patient or family.
Continuous quality improvement should be the responsibility of every endoscopist and endoscopy facility to ensure improved patient care. Appropriate documentation of endoscopic procedures is a critical component of such activities.
PMCID: PMC3735732  PMID: 23712304
Colonoscopy/standards; Electronic reporting; Research report/standards; Review
19.  Pro/con debate: Octreotide has an important role in the treatment of gastrointestinal bleeding of unknown origin? 
Critical Care  2006;10(4):218.
Whether it is the primary reason for admission or a complication of critical illness, upper gastrointestinal bleeding is commonly encountered in the intensive care unit. In this setting, in the absence of endoscopy, intensivists generally provide supportive care (transfusion of blood products) and acid suppression (such as proton pump inhibitors). More recently, octreotide (a somatostatin analogue) has been used in such patients. However, its precise role in patients with upper gastrointestinal bleeding is not necessarily clear and the drug is associated with significant costs. In this issue of Critical Care, two expert teams debate the merits of using octreotide in non-variceal upper gastrointestinal bleeding.
PMCID: PMC1750992  PMID: 16834764
20.  Effectiveness of disseminating consensus management recommendations for ulcer bleeding: a cluster randomized trial 
International guidelines for the management of nonvariceal upper gastrointestinal bleeding have not been widely adopted in clinical practice. We sought to determine whether a national, multifaceted intervention could improve adherence to guidelines, especially for patients at high risk of nonvariceal upper gastrointestinal bleeding.
In this randomized trial, we stratified hospitals by region and size and allocated sites to either the control or experimental group. Health care workers in the experimental group were given published guidelines, generic algorithms, stratification scoring systems and written reminders and attended multidisciplinary guideline education groups and case-based workshops. These interventions were implemented over a 12-month period after randomization, with performance feedback and benchmarking. The primary outcome of adherence rates to key guidelines in endoscopic and pharmacologic management, determined by chart review, was adjusted according to site characteristics and possible within-site dependencies. We also report the rates of adherence to other recommendations.
Forty-three sites were randomized to the experimental (n = 21) or control (n = 22) groups. In our primary analysis, we compared patients before (experimental group: n = 402 patients; control group: n = 424 patients) and after (experimental group: n = 361 patients; control group: n = 389 patients) intervention. Patient-level analysis revealed no significant difference in adherence rates to the guidelines after the intervention (experimental group: 9.8%; control group: 4.8%; p = 0.99) after adjustment for the rate of adherence before the intervention (experimental group: 13.2%; control group: 7.1%). The adherence rates to other guidelines were similar and decreased over time, varying between 5% and 93%.
This national knowledge translation–based trial suggests poor adherence to guidelines on nonvariceal upper gastrointestinal bleeding. Adherence was not improved by an educational intervention, which highlights both the complexity and poor predictability of attempting to alter the behaviour of health care providers (Trial registration:, no. MCT-88113).
PMCID: PMC3576461  PMID: 23318399
21.  Rates of minor adverse events and health resource utilization postcolonoscopy 
The high mortality rate of colorectal cancer (CRC) has prompted the implementation of CRC screening programs for average-risk individuals across most parts of Canada. Initially, colonoscopy quality and performance indicators focused primarily on physician-related factors; however, the emergence of patient-centred care has shifted the focus toward increasing patient satisfaction and comfort, and mitigating the severity of any adverse events following colonoscopy. Data in this area are scarce and, accordingly, this study investigated the cumulative incidence of minor adverse events following colonoscopy and their impact on health resource utilization at a single centre in Montreal, Quebec.
Little is known about minor adverse events (MAEs) following outpatient colonoscopies and associated health care resource utilization.
To estimate the rates of incident MAE at two, 14 and 30 days postcolonoscopy, and associated health care resource utilization. A secondary aim was to identify factors associated with cumulative 30-day MAE incidence.
A longitudinal cohort study was conducted among individuals undergoing an outpatient colonoscopy at the Montreal General Hospital (Montreal, Quebec). Before colonoscopy, consecutive individuals were enrolled and interviewed to obtain data regarding age, sex, comorbidities, use of antiplatelets/anticoagulants and previous symptoms. Endoscopy reports were reviewed for intracolonoscopy procedures (biopsy, polypectomy). Telephone or Internet follow-up was used to obtain data regarding MAEs (abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, nausea, vomiting, blood in the stools, rectal or anal pain, headaches, other) and health resource use (visits to emergency department, primary care doctor, gastroenterologist; consults with nurse, pharmacist or telephone hotline). Rates of incident MAEs and health resources utilization were estimated using Bayesian hierarchical modelling to account for patient clustering within physician practices.
Of the 705 individuals approached, 420 (59.6%) were enrolled. Incident MAE rates at the two-, 14- and 30-day follow-ups were 17.3% (95% credible interval [CrI] 8.1% to 30%), 10.5% (95% CrI 2.9% to 23.7%) and 3.2% (95% CrI 0.01% to 19.8%), respectively. The 30-day rate of health resources utilization was 1.7%, with 0.95% of participants seeking the services of a physician. No predictors of the cumulative 30-day incidence of MAEs were identified.
The incidence of MAEs was highest in the 48 h following colonoscopy and uncommon after two weeks, supporting the Canadian Association of Gastroenterology’s recommendation for assessment of late complications at 14 days. Predictors of new onset of MAEs were not identified, but wide CrIs did not rule out possible associations. Although <1% of participants reported consulting a physician for MAEs, this figure may represent a substantial number of visits given the increasing number of colonoscopies performed annually.
Postcolonoscopy MAEs are common, occur mainly in the first two weeks postcolonoscopy and result in little use of health resources.
PMCID: PMC4277171  PMID: 25575107
Colonoscopy; Health services utilization; Minor adverse events; Patient-centred care
22.  Adherence to guidelines: A national audit of the management of acute upper gastrointestinal bleeding. The REASON registry 
Despite the significant morbidity and mortality associated with upper gastrointestinal bleeding, a previous bleeding registry revealed wide variations in clinical management practices for the condition in hospitals across Canada. Moreover, the development of several consensus recommendations have not achieved the expected reductions in practice variations. Quality of care assessments should extend beyond the sole measure of clinical outcomes and be consistent with evidence-based best practice guidelines. Accordingly, this article presents data from a Canadian nationwide registry illustrating the structures, processes and outcome measures in the management of upper gastrointestinal bleeding.
To assess process of care in nonvariceal upper gastrointestinal bleeding (NVUGIB) using a national cohort, and to identify predictors of adherence to ‘best practice’ standards.
Consecutive charts of patients hospitalized for acute upper gastrointestinal bleeding across 21 Canadian hospitals were reviewed. Data regarding initial presentation, endoscopic management and outcomes were collected. Results were compared with ‘best practice’ using established guidelines on NVUGIB. Adherence was quantified and independent predictors were evaluated using multivariable analysis.
Overall, 2020 patients (89.4% NVUGIB, variceal in 10.6%) were included (mean [± SD] age 66.3±16.4 years; 38.4% female). Endoscopy was performed in 1612 patients: 1533 with NVUGIB had endoscopic lesions (63.1% ulcers; high-risk stigmata in 47.8%). Early endoscopy was performed in 65.6% and an assistant was present in 83.5%. Only 64.5% of patients with high-risk stigmata received endoscopic hemostasis; 9.8% of patients exhibiting low-risk stigmata also did. Intravenous proton pump inhibitor was administered after endoscopic hemostasis in 95.7%. Rebleeding and mortality rates were 10.5% and 9.4%, respectively. Multivariable analysis revealed that low American Society of Anesthesiologists score patients had fewer assistants present during endoscopy (OR 0.63 [95% CI 0.48 to 0.83), a hemoglobin level <70 g/L predicted inappropriate high-dose intravenous proton pump inhibitor use in patients with low-risk stigmata, and endoscopies performed during regular hours were associated with longer delays from presentation (OR 0.33 [95% CI 0.24 to 0.47]).
There was variability between the process of care and ‘best practice’ in NVUGIB. Certain patient and situational characteristics may influence guideline adherence. Dissemination initiatives must identify and focus on such considerations to improve quality of care.
PMCID: PMC4205906  PMID: 25314356
Gastrointestinal hemorrhage; Guideline adherence; Peptic ulcer hemorrhage; Quality of health care
24.  A one-year economic evaluation of six alternative strategies for the management of uninvestigated upper gastrointestinal symptoms in Canadian primary care 
The cost-effectiveness of initial strategies in managing Canadian patients with uninvestigated upper gastrointestinal symptoms remains controversial.
To assess the cost-effectiveness of six management approaches to uninvestigated upper gastrointestinal symptoms in the Canadian setting.
The present study analyzed data from four randomized trials assessing homogeneous and complementary populations of Canadian patients with uninvestigated upper gastrointestinal symptoms with comparable outcomes. Symptom-free months, quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) and direct costs in Canadian dollars of two management approaches based on the Canadian Dyspepsia Working Group (CanDys) Clinical Management Tool, and four additional strategies (two empirical antisecretory agents, and two prompt endoscopy) were examined and compared. Prevalence data, probabilities, utilities and costs were included in a Markov model, while sensitivity analysis used Monte Carlo simulations. Incremental cost-effectiveness ratios and cost-effectiveness acceptability curves were determined.
Empirical omeprazole cost $226 per QALY ($49 per symptom-free month) per patient. CanDys omeprazole and endoscopy approaches were more effective than empirical omeprazole, but more costly. Alternatives using H2-receptor antagonists were less effective than those using a proton pump inhibitor. No significant differences were found for most incremental cost-effectiveness ratios. As willingness to pay (WTP) thresholds rose from $226 to $24,000 per QALY, empirical antisecretory approaches were less likely to be the most cost-effective choice, with CanDys omeprazole progressively becoming a more likely option. For WTP values ranging from $24,000 to $70,000 per QALY, the most clinically relevant range, CanDys omeprazole was the most cost-effective strategy (32% to 46% of the time), with prompt endoscopy-proton pump inhibitor favoured at higher WTP values.
Although no strategy was the indisputable cost-effective option, CanDys omeprazole may be the strategy of choice over a clinically relevant range of WTP assumptions in the initial management of Canadian patients with uninvestigated dyspepsia.
PMCID: PMC2947002  PMID: 20711528
Antisecretory therapy; Cost-effectiveness; Dyspepsia; Economic modelling; Endoscopy; Helicobacter pylori
25.  The potential impact of contemporary developments in the management of patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease undergoing an initial gastroscopy 
Recent developments may alter the approach to patients presenting with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)-like symptoms. A newly proposed Montreal consensus definition of Barrett’s esophagus includes all types of esophageal columnar metaplasia, with or without intestinal-type metaplasia. There is also increasing recognition of eosinophilic esophagitis (EE) in patients with GERD-like symptoms.
To quantify the impact of these developments on a multiphysician general gastroenterology practice in a tertiary care medical centre.
Medical charts of all patients having an initial gastroscopy for GERD-like symptoms over a one-year period were reviewed retrospectively, and audits of their endoscopic images and esophageal biopsies were performed.
Of the 353 study participants, typical symptoms of heartburn and acid reflux were present in 87.7% and 23.2%, respectively. Less commonly, patients presented with atypical symptoms (eg, dysphagia in 9.4%). At endoscopy, 26% were found to have erosive esophagitis and 12% had endoscopically suspected esophageal metaplasia. Histological evaluation was available for 65 patients. Ten of the 65 biopsied patients (15%) met traditional criteria for Barrett’s esophagus (ie, exhibiting intestinal-type metaplasia), whereas 49 (75%) fulfilled the newly proposed consensus definition of Barrett’s esophagus. Five patients (7.7%) met the study criteria for EE (more than 20 eosinophils per high-power field), four of whom had not been previously recognized.
Among patients presenting with GERD-like symptoms, the prevalence of Barrett’s esophagus may increase markedly if the Montreal definition is adopted. In addition, growing awareness of EE may lead to an increase in the prevalence of this diagnosis. Prospective studies of the management implications of these findings are warranted.
PMCID: PMC2694588  PMID: 19214284
Barrett’s esophagus; Eosinophilic esophagitis; Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

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