Unsedated Ultrathin EGD Is Well Accepted When Compared with Conventional Sedated EGD: A Multicenter Randomized Trial
In the United States, upper gastrointestinal endoscopy is usually performed using intravenous sedation. Sedation increases the rate of both complications and costs of endoscopy. Unsedated esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) using conventional 8-11-mm endoscopes is an alternative to sedated endoscopy but is generally perceived as unacceptable to many American patients. Unsedated EGD using ultrathin 5-6-mm endoscopes is better tolerated. A randomized trial comparing unsedated ultrathin EGD (UT-EGD) with sedated conventional EGD (C-EGD) in a diverse American population is needed. In this multicenter, randomized, controlled trial, 80 patients scheduled to undergo elective outpatient EGD were randomized to unsedated UT-EGD or sedated C-EGD. The study was carried out at San Francisco General Hospital, San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and the Liver and Digestive Health Medical Clinic, San Jose. Baseline characteristics of patients randomized to unsedated UT-EGD and sedated C-EGD were similar. Moreover, there were no significant differences in overall patient satisfaction and willingness to repeat endoscopy in the same manner among the 2 study groups. There was, however, a significant difference in median total procedure time between the 2 study groups of 1.5 hours (P < 0.0001). The mean (+/- SD) total procedure cost was 512.4 US dollars (+/- 100.8 US dollars) for sedated C-EGD and 328.6 US dollars (+/- 70.3 US dollars) for unsedated UT-EGD (P < 0.0001). Patients undergoing unsedated UT-EGD are as satisfied as patients undergoing sedated C-EGD and are just as willing to repeat an unsedated UT-EGD. Unsedated UT-EGD was also faster, less costly, and may allow greater accessibility to this procedure.