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Gawron AJ, Sultan S, Glorioso TJ, Califano S, Kralovic SM, Jones M, Kirsh S, Dominitz JA. Pre-endoscopy coronavirus disease 2019 screening and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 nucleic acid amplification testing in the Veterans Affairs healthcare system: clinical practice patterns, outcomes, and relationship to procedure volume. Gastrointestinal endoscopy. 2022 Sep 1; 96(3):423-432.e7.
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has had profound impacts worldwide, including on the performance of GI endoscopy. We aimed to describe the performance and outcomes of pre-endoscopy COVID-19 symptom and exposure screening and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) nucleic acid amplification testing (NAAT) across the national Veterans Affairs healthcare system and describe the relationship of SARS-CoV-2 NAAT use and resumption of endoscopy services. METHODS: COVID-19 screening and NAAT results from March 2020 to April 2021 were analyzed to determine use, performance characteristics of screening, and association between testing and endoscopic volume trends. RESULTS: Of 220,891 completed endoscopies identified, 115,890 (52.5%) had documented preprocedure COVID-19 symptom and exposure screenings and 154,127 (69.8%) had preprocedure NAAT results within 7 days before scheduled endoscopy. Of 131,894 total canceled endoscopies, 26,475 (20.1%) had screening data and 28,505 (21.6%) had SARS-CoV-2 NAAT results. Overall, positive NAAT results were reported in 1.8% of all individuals tested and in 1.3% of those who screened negative. Among completed and canceled endoscopies, COVID-19 screening had a 34.6% sensitivity (95% confidence interval [CI], 32.4%-36.8%) and 96.4% specificity (95% CI, 96.2%-96.5%) when compared with NAAT. COVID-19 screening had a positive predictive value of 15.0% (95% CI, 14.0%-16.1%) and a negative predictive value of 98.7% (95% CI, 98.7%-98.8%). There was a very weak correlation between monthly testing and monthly endoscopy volume by site (Spearman rank correlation coefficient = .09). CONCLUSIONS: These findings have important implications for decisions about preprocedure testing, especially given breakthrough infections among vaccinated individuals during the SARS-CoV-2 delta and omicron variant surge.