The European panel on the appropriateness of gastrointestinal endoscopy guidelines colonoscopy in an open-access endoscopy unit: a prospective study.

Department of Gastroenterology, Institut de Malalties Digestives, Hospital Clínic, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.
Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics (Impact Factor: 5.48). 04/2005; 21(5):609-13. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2036.2005.02359.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The demand for gastrointestinal endoscopy is increasing in most developed countries, resulting in an important rise in overall costs and waiting lists for endoscopic procedures. Therefore, adherence to appropriate indications for these procedures is essential for the rational use of finite resources in an open-access system.
To assess indications and appropriateness of colonoscopy according to the European Panel on the Appropriateness of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (EPAGE) criteria.
From May to June 2004, all consecutive patients referred to our Unit for open-access colonoscopy were considered for inclusion in this prospective study. Appropriateness of each colonoscopy was established according to the EPAGE criteria. In order to evaluate whether appropriateness of use correlated with the diagnostic yield of colonoscopy, relevant endoscopic findings were also recorded.
A total of 350 consecutive patients were included in the study. In 38 of them, the colonoscopy indication was not listed in the EPAGE guidelines and, consequently, they were not evaluated. In the remaining 312 patients, the indication for the procedure was considered inappropriate in 73 (23%) patients. Both referring doctor characteristics (specialty and health care setting) and patient data (age) correlated with appropriateness of endoscopy. The diagnostic yield was significantly higher for appropriate colonoscopies (42%) than in those judged inappropriate (21%) (P = 0.001).
A noteworthy proportion of patients referred for colonoscopy to an open-access endoscopy unit are considered inappropriate because of their indication, with significant differences among specialties. These results suggest that implementation of validated guidelines for its appropriate use could improve this situation and, considering the correlation between appropriateness and diagnostic yield, even contribute to improve the prognosis of patients with colorectal diseases.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Abstract Objective. To use information from the referral letters to assess the appropriateness of colonoscopies in a primary open-access referral center, according to the criteria from the European Panel on the Appropriateness of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (EPAGE) II, and to compare with the first EPAGE guidelines. Second, to evaluate how the appropriateness and other patient- or doctor-related factors affected the diagnostic yield (DY). Material and methods. A set of variables; symptoms, referring physician and final diagnosis, for 323 referrals accepted for colonoscopy were recorded prospectively and later on assessed using the EPAGE and EPAGE II criteria, respectively. Patients with incomplete visualization of the entire colon or colonoscopic findings as indication were excluded. Results. EPAGE and EPAGE II criteria were applicable in 287 (95.3%) and 295 (98.0%) referrals, respectively. A total of 166 (57.8%) patients were considered appropriate by EPAGE and 240 (81.4%) patients were considered appropriate by EPAGE II. DY for appropriate versus uncertain/inappropriate referrals was 34.9% versus 17.4% for EPAGE (odds ratio [OR] = 2.5, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.8-4.4, p = 0.003) and 31.3% versus 10.9% for EPAGE II (OR = 3.5, 95% CI: 1.4-8.9, p = 0.007). Sensitivity was higher for EPAGE II (92.6% vs. 73.4%). According to EPAGE II, 68 (23.1%) patients were referred due to lesions identified on other diagnostic procedures, producing a DY of 39.7%. In this group, 70% presented symptoms appropriate for a primary referral to colonoscopy. Conclusions. The majority of colonoscopies were found appropriate by EPAGE II. There was a clear association between high appropriateness of the indication and a high DY. EPAGE II is a guideline-improvement that may be useful for both referring physicians and gastroenterologists when considering referrals.
    Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology 03/2014; · 2.33 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background: the Galician Health Service established indications and priority levels (I = fast track, II = preferential, III = normal) for colonoscopy, according to the risk of colorectal cancer and significant colonic lesions detection with access from primary health care. Our aim is to show the results of the implementation.Methods: we included colonoscopies requested in symptomatic patients from June to October 2012 in a prospective observational cross sectional study. We collected health care level (primary, secondary), priority, appropriateness to the established criteria, wait times (from colonoscopy application and initial consultation) and diagnostic yield for colorectal cancer and/or significant colonic lesion. We compared health care levels in priorities I and II.Results: 425 colonoscopies were included (I = 221, II = 141, III = 63). The appropriateness rate to the protocol was 67.5 %. Priority levels were significantly associated to wait times (days) from application (I = 8.7 ± 8.9, II = 50 + or - 20.3, III = 80.2 + or - 32.2; p < 0.001) and initial consultation (I = 32.2 + or - 38, II = 74.5 + or - 44.2, III = 128.5 + or - 47.4; p < 0.001), and with colorectal cancer (I = 20.1 %, II = 19.1 %, III = 4.8 %, p < 0.001) and significant colonic lesion (I = 35.3 %, II = 34 %, III = 19 %, p = 0.002) detection rates. In priority I and II, 21.8 % of colonoscopies were requested from primary health care. Referral form primary health care reduced wait times from initial consultation to colonoscopy (primary = 29.3 + or - 26, secondary = 55.2 + or - 48.6, p < 0.001). Instead, colorectal cancer (OR 2.41, 95 % CI 1.31-4.42) and significant colonic lesion (OR 1.88, 95 % CI 1.13- 3.15) detection rate was increased.Conclusions: Galician Health Service priority levels are significantly associated with colorectal cancer and significant colonic lesion detection. Referrals to colonoscopy from primary health care reduce waiting times and increase diagnostic yield.
    Revista espanola de enfermedades digestivas: organo oficial de la Sociedad Espanola de Patologia Digestiva 12/2014; 105(10):600-608. · 1.32 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: European Panel on the Appropriateness of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (EPAGE) criteria have been developed to increase diagnostic yield, but their predictive value is limited. We investigated the incremental diagnostic value of faecal calprotectin to EPAGE criteria. In a post-hoc analysis of a prospective study, EPAGE criteria were applied to 298 of 575 (51.8%) patients who had undergone esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD), colonoscopy or both for abdominal complaints at the Division of Gastroenterology & Hepatology at the University Hospital Basel in Switzerland. Faecal calprotectin was measured in stool samples collected within 24 hours before the investigation using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Final endoscopic diagnoses were blinded to calprotectin values. Of 149 EGDs and 224 colonoscopies, 17.6% and 14.7% respectively were judged inappropriate by EPAGE criteria. Appropriate or uncertain indications revealed more endoscopic findings in both EGD (46.3% vs. 23.1%, P = 0.049) and colonoscopy (23.6% vs. 6.1%, P = 0.041) than inappropriate indications. Median calprotectin levels were higher (81.5 mug/g, interquartile range 26-175, vs. 10 mug/g, IQR 10-22, P < 0.001) and testing was more often positive (>50 mug/g) in patients with endoscopic findings, both in EGD (58.2% vs. 33.0%, P = 0.005) and in colonoscopy (57.3% vs. 7.4%, P < 0.001). The use of faecal calprotectin in addition to EPAGE criteria improved the risk reclassification of patients by endoscopic findings. The calculated net reclassification index was 37.8% (P = 0.002) for EGD and 110.9% (P <0.001) for colonoscopy, thus improving diagnostic yield to 56.8% and 70.2%, respectively. The use of faecal calprotectin in addition to EPAGE criteria improved diagnostic yield in patients with abdominal complaints.
    BMC Gastroenterology 03/2014; 14(1):57. · 2.11 Impact Factor