Endoscopy during COVID-19 Pandemic

Anahita Sadeghi, Kamran Bagheri Lankarani


The ongoing pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) poses a major global health threat. The infected patients may present with a broad spectrum of clinical signs and symptoms, from being asymptomatic to developing flu-like symptoms or pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, multi-organ failure, and death .1,2 Gastrointestinal symptoms are also common in patients with COVID-19, and some cases may first present with nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea even without other symptoms.3,4 Although viral transmission is primarily through small respiratory droplets and direct contact, there is also the possibility of both bioaerosol transmission and fecal contamination.4 Furthermore, there is evidence of viral shedding in asymptomatic subjects or during the long incubation period of the virus.5 That is why all healthcare providers, staff, and even patients of the endoscopy department are at great risk of COVID-19 infection, and therefore, special precautions for disease prevention should be taken to ensure their safety.

Gastroenterologists are at higher risk for COVID-19 by respiratory and fecal-oral routes. Among 480 gastroenterologists, 10.6% had confirmed COVID-19 in Iran .6

With this background, the “Guideline on Endoscopy during COVID-19 Pandemic” in Iran was compiled and edited based on the consensus of a group of gastroenterologists on the latest knowledge and international guidelines, as well as the survey of colleagues’ opinions and experiences in this context. Here, we outline a summary of these recommendations in five distinct categories. The full text was published before in the Persian languag.

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