Early Versus Standard Colonoscopy: A Randomized Controlled Trial in Patients With Acute Lower Gastrointestinal Bleeding Results of the BLEED Study

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Goals:The aim of our study was to examine differences in length of hospital stay (LOHS) between patients with lower gastrointestinal bleeding who received either an early colonoscopy (within 24 h of presentation) or a standard colonoscopy (within 1 to 3 d).Background:Diagnostic management of lower gastrointestinal bleeding has been extensively debated in recent literature, especially whether colonoscopy within 24 hours of presentation is feasible and safe.Study:In this single center, nonblinded, randomized controlled trial, patients presenting at the emergency department with acute hematochezia were eligible if they required hospital admission. A total of 132 patients were included. Primary outcome was LOHS. Secondary outcomes included yield of colonoscopy, blood transfusion requirements, recurrent bleedings, complications, interventions related to complications, and 30-day mortality. The follow-up period was 1 month.Results:In total, 63 patients were randomized for <24 hours colonoscopy and 69 for standard colonoscopy. In the intention to treat analysis, LOHS was significantly lower in patients that underwent an early colonoscopy, compared with the standard group: median 2.0 days (inter quartile range, 2.0 to 4.0) versus median 3.0 days (inter quartile range, 2.0 to 4.0) (P=0.009). Recurrent bleedings and hospital readmissions were significantly more frequent in the <24-hour group: 13% versus 3% (P=0.04) and 11% versus 2% (P=0.02), respectively. No difference was observed regarding the number of patients diagnosed with a confirmed or presumptive bleeding source. In both groups, blood transfusion rate was similar and 30-day mortality was 0.Conclusions:Early colonoscopy reduces LOHS, but also results in lower clinical efficacy compared with standard colonoscopy.

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