Published online Oct 6, 2021. doi: 10.12998/wjcc.v9.i28.8404
Peer-review started: June 22, 2021
First decision: July 16, 2021
Revised: July 22, 2021
Accepted: August 30, 2021
Article in press: August 30, 2021
Published online: October 6, 2021
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak has markedly influenced the endoscopic patterns. Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is an essential technique for pancreatobiliary disease but increases the risk of exposure to the virus-containing body fluid; however, the impact of COVID-19 on ERCP is unknown.
To compare the number of endoscopic activities and to analyze the clinical outcomes of ERCPs before and during the COVID-19 outbreak in Daegu, South Kore.
This retrospective cohort study included patients aged ≥ 18 years who underwent ERCP between February 18 and March 28, 2020, at a tertiary hospital. ERCP indications and endoscopic details were compared with those from the same period in 2018 and 2019 as control groups.
Of the 269 ERCP procedures, 113 (42.0%) cases were performed as emergency procedures. The number of ERCP procedures in 2018 and 2019 decreased by 20.2% and 56.6%, respectively, compared with that in 2020 (P < 0.01); among the 113 emergency ERCPs, the observed numbers in 2018 (n = 42) and 2019 (n = 55) dramatically dropped by 61.9% and 70.9%, respectively, compared with that in 2020 (n = 16). Of the 16 cases in 2020, stone removal was performed in five, biliary stenting in five, sphincterotomy in five, and nasobiliary drainage in one. No case of ERCP-related infection in medical workers or other patients has been reported.
The COVID-19 outbreak significantly reduced the number of ERCPs; however, there is no difference in the indications and endoscopic interventions before and during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Core Tip: The advent of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak has transformed the patterns of endoscopic activities. However, little is known about the clinical impact associated with COVID-19 on endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP). We compared the change in the number of ERCP procedures, causes, and clinical outcomes of emergency ERCP before (2018, 2019) and during the COVID-19 (2020) outbreak at a tertiary referral hospital in South Korea.