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Adherence to guidelines in patients with non-variceal upper gastrointestinal bleeding (UGIB) - results from a retrospective single tertiary center registry.

BACKGROUND: Guidelines for the management of upper gastrointestinal bleeding (UGIB) are regularly published, yet little is known concerning adherence to recommendations in practice.

OBJECTIVES: We aimed to assess adherence to European Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ESGE) recommendations in patients with non-variceal UGIB.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: All hospitalized patients with an esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) performed due to suspected non-variceal UGIB at our department were included in a prospective registry. Data between 2018-2020 from this registry were retrospectively analyzed. Adherence to the 2015 ESGE bleeding and propofol sedation guidelines was assessed. Adherence to recommendations concerning preendoscopic (risk) evaluation, preendoscopic PPI, transfusion management, and endoscopic management of peptic ulcers was analyzed.

RESULTS: Among 1005 patients (mean age 70.4 years, 42.1% women) the most common bleeding etiologies were gastric or duodenal ulcers (16.8%), esophagitis/GERD (11.1%), and angiodysplasia (9.9%); mortality was 7.6%. Adherence to preendosopic risk evaluation was low, in 0% a Mallampati classification and in 37.5% an ASA scoring was documented. Preendoscopic PPI was started at 58.6%, and adherence to recommended transfusion management was >98%. Peptic ulcers were Forrest-graded in 72.8%. High-risk ulcers were treated appropriately in 77.9% and low-risk ulcers were not treated in 73.6%. Especially Forrest Ib ulcers were undertreated, with an adherence of 59.6%. Only 22/179 (12.3%) patients with peptic ulcers and early endoscopy were consistently managed according to ESGE recommendations.

CONCLUSIONS: Adherence to ESGE guidelines in patients with non-variceal UGIB is moderate to low, even at a tertiary university hospital. Strategies must be devised for guidelines to reach patients in everyday practice.

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