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Rates of Duodenal Biopsy During Upper Endoscopy Differ Widely Between Providers

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The goal of this study is to determine factors associated with performance of duodenal biopsy during upper endoscopy.


Celiac disease (CD) prevalence approaches 1% in the United States and Europe, yet CD remains underdiagnosed, in part because of low rates of duodenal biopsy during upper endoscopy. We aimed to identify patient and provider factors associated with performance of duodenal biopsy during upper endoscopy.


In our hospital-based endoscopy suite, we identified all patients not previously diagnosed with CD who underwent upper endoscopy during a 5-year period for one of the following indications: abdominal pain/dyspepsia, gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), anemia/iron deficiency, diarrhea, and weight loss. We employed univariate and multivariate analysis to determine the association between clinical factors and the performance of duodenal biopsy.


Of 8572 patients included in the study, 4863 (57%) underwent duodenal biopsy. Of those who underwent duodenal biopsy, 24 (0.49%) were found to have CD. On multivariate analysis, age, gender, indication, gross endoscopic appearance, physician affiliation with a celiac disease center, and absence of a participating trainee were all significantly associated with the performance of duodenal biopsy. There was wide variability among providers, with duodenal biopsy rates ranging from 27% to 91% during these procedures.


A duodenal biopsy is more likely to be performed in younger patients, females, and for key indications such as weight loss, diarrhea, and anemia. Providers varied widely in the performance of duodenal biopsy. Further study is warranted to better understand the decision to perform duodenal biopsy and to determine the optimal scenarios for its performance.
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Keywords: celiac disease; endoscopy; small intestine

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Celiac Disease Center, Department of Medicine, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY 2: Department of Gastroenterology, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield, UK

Publication date: February 1, 2019

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