Endoscopy 2021; 53(02): 166-170
DOI: 10.1055/a-1272-3788
Innovations and brief communications

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on gastrointestinal endoscopy in the Netherlands: analysis of a prospective endoscopy database

Marten A. Lantinga*
1   Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Felix Theunissen*
2   Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Pieter C. J. ter Borg
3   Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Ikazia Ziekenhuis, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Marco J. Bruno
2   Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Rob J. T. Ouwendijk
4   Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Bravis Ziekenhuis, Roosendaal, The Netherlands
Peter D. Siersema
1   Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
on behalf of the Trans.IT foundation study group › Author Affiliations


Background COVID-19 has dramatically affected gastrointestinal endoscopy practice. We aimed to investigate its impact on procedure types, indications, and findings.

Methods We retrospectively analyzed endoscopies performed in 15 Dutch hospitals by comparing periods 15 March to 25 June of 2019 and 2020 using the prospective Trans.IT database.

Results During lockdown in 2020, 9776 patients underwent endoscopy compared with 19 296 in 2019. Gastroscopies decreased by 57 % (from 7846 to 4467) and colonoscopies by 45 % (from 12219 to 5609), whereas endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography volumes remained comparable (from 578 to 522). Although endoscopy results indicative of cancer decreased (from 524 to 340), the likelihood of detecting cancer during endoscopy increased (2.7 % [95 % confidence interval (CI) 2.5 – 3.0] in 2019 versus 3.5 % [95 %CI 3.1 – 3.9] in 2020; P < 0.001). After lifting of lockdown, endoscopy volumes started to return to normal, except for colorectal cancer screening.

Conclusions Fewer endoscopies were performed during the COVID-19 lockdown, leading to a significant reduction in the absolute detection of cancer. Endoscopies increased rapidly after lockdown, except for colorectal cancer screening.

* These authors contributed equally to this work.

# The Trans.IT foundation study group: M. Kerkhof (Groene Hart Ziekenhuis, Gouda); R.M.E. Slangen (HagaZiekenhuis, Den Haag), P.J. Bus (Laurentius Ziekenhuis, Roermond); F.J.G.M. Kubben (Maasstad Ziekenhuis, Rotterdam); W.J. Thijs (Martini Ziekenhuis, Groningen); M.J.M. Groenen (Rijnstate Ziekenhuis, Arnhem), E. A. Hoboken (Rode Kruis Ziekenhuis, Beverwijk), W. Bruins Slot (Spaarne Gasthuis, Haarlem), L. Wormmeester (Treant Zorggroep, Hoogeveen), F. Vleggaar (UMC Utrecht, Utrecht), L.A. Noach (Ziekenhuis Amstelland, Amstelveen), J.J. Uil (Ziekenhuis Gelderse Vallei, Ede); M. Rasica (Bravis Ziekenhuis, Roosendaal); M.E. van Leerdam (Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, Amsterdam and Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden); E.J. Kuipers (Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam).

Tables 1s, 2s

Publication History

Received: 02 July 2020

Accepted: 08 September 2020

Article published online:
20 October 2020

© 2020. Thieme. All rights reserved.

Georg Thieme Verlag KG
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