Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on gastrointestinal endoscopy activity in France


Background: The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has majorly affected medical activity around the world. We sought to measure the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy activity in France.

Methods: We performed a web-based survey, including 35 questions on the responders and their endoscopic practice, from 23 March to 27 March 2020, sent to the 3300 French gastroenterologists practicing endoscopy.

Results: 694 GI endoscopists (21 %) provided analyzable data; of these, 29.4 % (204/694) were involved in the management of COVID-19 patients outside the endoscopy department. During the study period, 98.7 % (685/694) of endoscopists had had to cancel procedures. There were 89 gastroenterologists (12.8 %) who reported symptoms compatible with COVID-19 infection, and a positive PCR test was recorded in 12/197 (6.1 %) vs. 3/497 (0.6 %) endoscopists in the high vs. low prevalence areas, respectively (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: The COVID-19 pandemic led to a major reduction in the volume of GI endoscopies performed in France in March 2020. The prolonged limited access to GI endoscopy could lead to a delay in the management of patients with GI cancers.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.