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Intraductal bile duct stents should be prioritised for removal during the pandemic
  1. Wafaa Ahmed,
  2. Deepak Joshi,
  3. Phillip Harrison,
  4. David Reffitt,
  5. John Devlin
  1. Institute of Liver Sciences, King's College Hospital, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Wafaa Ahmed, Institute of Liver Sciences, King's College Hospital, London SE5 9RS, UK; wafaa.ahmed{at}

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Following the announcement by the WHO of a pandemic on 11 March 2020, routine gastrointestinal endoscopic procedures were suspended internationally with only life-threatening emergencies and severe conditions being performed. We, therefore, read with interest the article by Rutter et al on the impact of COVID-19 on endoscopy services and cancer detection (1). One patient category not fully addressed in this publication is the subgroup of patients who underwent endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) with biliary stent placement prior to introduction of restricted activity. Under normal circumstances, many of these patients would have undergone endoprosthesis replacement or revision prior to potential endoscopic activity later in 2020. Guidance statements from international professional bodies are inconsistent with the Asian Pacific Society for Digestive Endoscopy (APSDE)-COVID statement, this group has …

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  • Contributors WA wrote the manuscript. The Manuscript was reviewed by DR and PH. The manuscript was edited by DJ and JD.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of this research.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.