Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy in infants: diagnostic usefulness and safety.
Although fiberoptic, upper gastrointestinal (UGI) endoscopy has become an accepted diagnostic technique in the older child and adult, concerns about safety have limited the use of this procedure in infants. A 1-year experience with 49 upper gastrointestinal endoscopies in infants less than 25 months of age is reported. There were varied indications for the procedures, including upper gastrointestinal hemorrhage and obstruction, but evaluation for esophagitis secondary to gastroesophageal reflux was most common. Procedures were performed without sedation in 45% of all infants studied, including 87% of infants less than 3 months of age; procedures were well tolerated. General anesthesia was used on only three occasions. A thorough examination was always possible, and biopsies were taken whenever indicated. Only one complication, transient bradycardia, occurred in a critically ill infant. This experience demonstrates that upper gastrointestinal endoscopy is a safe and effective diagnostic aid in infants, and it can often be performed with little or no sedation.
Hargrove, CB; Ulshen, MH; Shub, MD
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