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Original research
Diagnostic yield from symptomatic gastroscopy in the UK: British Society of Gastroenterology analysis using data from the National Endoscopy Database


Objective This national analysis aimed to calculate the diagnostic yield from gastroscopy for common symptoms, guiding improved resource utilisation.

Design A cross-sectional study was conducted of diagnostic gastroscopies between 1 March 2019 and 29 February 2020 using the UK National Endoscopy Database. Mixed-effect logistic regression models were used, incorporating random (endoscopist) and fixed (symptoms, age and sex) effects on two dependent variables (endoscopic cancer; Barrett’s oesophagus (BO) diagnosis). Adjusted positive predictive values (aPPVs) were calculated.

Results 382 370 diagnostic gastroscopies were analysed; 30.4% were performed in patients aged <50 and 57.7% on female patients. The overall unadjusted PPV for cancer was 1.0% (males 1.7%; females 0.6%, p<0.01). Other major pathology was found in 9.1% of procedures, whereas 89.9% reported only normal findings or minor pathology (92.5% in females; 94.6% in patients <50).

Highest cancer aPPVs were reached in the over 50s (1.3%), in those with dysphagia (3.0%) or weight loss plus another symptom (1.4%). Cancer aPPVs for all other symptoms were below 1%, and for those under 50, remained below 1% regardless of symptom. Overall, 73.7% of gastroscopies were carried out in patient groups where aPPV cancer was <1%.

The overall unadjusted PPV for BO was 4.1% (males 6.1%; females 2.7%, p<0.01). The aPPV for BO for reflux was 5.8% and ranged from 3.2% to 4.0% for other symptoms.

Conclusions Cancer yield was highest in elderly male patients, and those over 50 with dysphagia. Three-quarters of all gastroscopies were performed on patients whose cancer risk was <1%, suggesting inefficient resource utilisation.


Data availability statement

Data are available upon reasonable request. Stata Do files available upon reasonable request.

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