Department of Gastroenterology, Azienda Provinciale per i Servizi Sanitari di Trento (APSS), Trento, Italy. email@example.com. Department of Gastroenterology, Azienda Provinciale per i Servizi Sanitari di Trento (APSS), Trento, Italy.
Acute upper gastrointestinal bleeding (UGIB) is the most common indication for urgent endoscopy, but the correct timing of endoscopy in these patients is still debated. Our systematic review with meta-analysis was aimed at investigating the potential clinical benefit of very early endoscopy for UGIB patients. We performed an electronic literature search of PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science and the Cochrane
Library up to 23rd May 2020 and considered only randomised controlled trials (RCTs) comparing management of UGIB patients by very early vs early endoscopy. Only five RCTs were considered eligible for quantitative analysis, with a total population of 926 cases (468 in the very early endoscopy arm and 458 in the early). The meta-analysis showed no statistically significant benefit for very early endoscopy compared to early endoscopy in terms of risk of rebleeding, mortality, ICU admission, blood transfusion, surgery and length of hospital stay. However, our results showed a significantly higher need for haemostatic treatment when very early endoscopy was performed (RR 1.23, 95% CI 1.06-1.42, p < 0.01) in comparison to early endoscopy.