Diagnostic Yield of Upper and Lower Gastrointestinal Endoscopies in Children in a Tertiary Centre

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Endoscopy is integral to the diagnosis and management of many gastrointestinal problems in children. Recently the number of endoscopic procedures performed has increased considerably worldwide raising questions about their appropriateness and cost-efficacy.


The aim of the study was to determine the diagnostic yield (the likelihood that a procedure or test will provide information required to establish a diagnosis) of endoscopy in a paediatric population in a large tertiary referral centre and to determine the terminal ileum intubation (TII) rate of paediatric ileocolonosocopy (IC) in an active training environment and compare with previously calculated rates.


Random selection of cases from a theatre electronic database from a 30-month period covering April 2012 to October 2014. The data were collected for initial presenting symptoms; age at diagnosis; indications for endoscopy; endoscopic findings; histopathological findings; and any change in management postendoscopic procedure. The diagnostic yield of the endoscopies and the TII rate of IC were calculated. Change in and contribution to management was assessed.


Median age 9.58 (0.5–16.5) years and M:F ratio 1:1.42. The positive diagnostic yield was 18.9% for oesophago-gastro-duodenoscopy alone, 32.6% for IC alone, and 39.2% when both occurred. In 45% management was actively changed due to endoscopy/histopathology findings and a significant management contribution occurred in all patients. TII was achieved in 98% of cases, which compares favourably to a TII rate of 89% at the same centre during the period 2009 to 2011.


Diagnostic yield was 32.6% for IC and 39.2% when oesophago-gastro-duodenoscopy also occurred. A TII rate of 98% should be achievable in children. A change in management occurred in 45% and as a significant negative finding may be as important as a positive diagnosis for exclusion of suspected disorders, with consequent reassurance and change in management. Contribution to management was therefore identified in all cases.

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