Publications by authors named "Giulio Antonelli"

65 Publications

Stay on Top: COVID-19 As an Opportunity to Improve the GI Scientific Career - The Impact on Papers and Literature.

Tech Innov Gastrointest Endosc 2021 5;23(2):212-214. Epub 2020 Dec 5.

Gastroenterology Unit, Nuovo Regina Margherita Hospital, Rome, Italy.

The main barrier for a young researcher in the field of endoscopy is that too much is known about virtually every aspect not only of the natural history, but also of the efficacy and safety of different Gastrointestinal (GI) techniques. The main fuel for research remains uncertainty, and this has been the primary characteristic of COVID-19. The unprecedented visibility of the main papers on the natural history and medical management of COVID-19 on all the main worldwide medical Journals has had an effect of drainage on the reports of COVID-19 in GI endoscopy, suddenly opening up the interest of main GI journals to this topic. Furthermore, given the nature and the urgency of the topic, these high-ranking journals have accepted study designs outside rigorous randomized controlled trials and/or systematic reviews and meta-analysis, what used to be the "conditio sine qua non" for being considered for publication. Suddenly, rigorous guidelines have been replaced by expert-derived suggestions on the basis that the best possible guidance is better than no guidance. This situation has been a great occasion for young researchers to gain visibility even without having access to the complex means and long time-spans needed to finalize a randomized trial.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tige.2020.12.001DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8528487PMC
December 2020

The Impact of COVID-19 on Individuals with Hearing and Visual Disabilities during the First Pandemic Wave in Italy.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2021 Sep 28;18(19). Epub 2021 Sep 28.

Public Health Department, Local Health Unit N.2 "Marca Trevigiana", 31100 Treviso, Italy.

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has imposed radical behavioral and social changes in the general population, significantly impacting the lives of individuals affected by disabilities. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of COVID-19 on non-institutionalized subjects with sensorineural disabilities during the first COVID-19 wave in Italy.

Methods: A 39-item online national survey was disseminated from 1 April 2020 to 31 June 2020 via social media throughout Italy to communities of individuals with proven severe sensorineural disabilities, affiliated to five national patient associations. The survey collected extensive information on the socio-demographic profile, health, everyday activities, and lifestyle of individuals with hearing and visual disabilities.

Results: One hundred and sixty-three respondents with hearing (66.9%) and visual (33.1%) disabilities returned a usable questionnaire. The mean age of interviewees was 38.4 ± 20.2 years and 56.3% of them were females. Despite the vast majority of respondents (77.9%) perceiving their health status as unchanged (68.8% of interviewees with hearing deficits vs. 96.3% of those with visual impairments), about half the interviewees reported sleep disorders during lock-down, more likely those with visual deficits. Remote services were seemingly more effective for business than school activities. Furthermore, although just 18.8% of respondents rated remote rehabilitation care unsatisfactory, only 12.8% of interviewees felt supported by health and social services during the COVID-19 emergency. The vast majority of respondents were concerned about the future and the risk of SARS-CoV-2 contagion, particularly individuals with hearing impairments. Among the various risk mitigation measures, facemasks caused the greatest discomfort due to communication barriers, particularly among interviewees affected by hearing disabilities (92.2% vs. 45.7%). The most common request (46.5%) of respondents to reduce the inconveniences of the COVID-19 emergency country lock-down was improving the access to and delivery of health and social services for individuals with sensorineural disabilities (19.3%), followed by the use of transparent masks (17.5%).

Conclusions: Although health protection measures such as face masks and social distancing play a key role in preventing and controlling the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the unmet needs of disabled individuals should be carefully considered, especially those affected by sensory disabilities. Tailored access to health and social services for individuals affected by sensorineural disabilities should be implemented. Additional actions should include the use of to face masks to reduce communication barriers linked to hearing-impairment, as well as the improvement of remote services, especially distance learning at school.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph181910208DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8508015PMC
September 2021

Colonoscopy quality across Europe: a report of the European Colonoscopy Quality Investigation (ECQI) Group.

Endosc Int Open 2021 Oct 16;9(10):E1456-E1462. Epub 2021 Sep 16.

Gastroenterology Unit, Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, S. Orsola-Malpighi Hospital, Bologna, Italy.

The European Colonoscopy Quality Investigation (ECQI) Group comprises expert colonoscopists and investigators with the aim of raising colonoscopy standards. We assessed the levels of monitoring and achievement of European Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ESGE) performance measures (PMs) across Europe using responses to the ECQI questionnaires. The questionnaire comprises three forms: institution and practitioner questionnaires are completed once; a procedure questionnaire is completed on multiple occasions for individual total colonoscopies. ESGE PMs were approximated as closely as possible from the data collected via the procedure questionnaire. Procedure data could provide rate of adequate bowel preparation, cecal intubation rate (CIR), withdrawal time, polyp detection rate (PDR), and tattooing resection sites. We evaluated ECQI questionnaire data collected between June 2016 and April 2018, comprising 91 practitioner and 52 institution questionnaires. A total of 6445 completed procedure forms were received. Institution and practitioner responses indicate that routine recording of PMs is not widespread: adenoma detection rate (ADR) is routinely recorded in 29 % of institutions and by 34 % of practitioners; PDR by 42 % and 47 %, CIR by 62 % and 64 %, bowel preparation quality by 56 % and 76 %, respectively. Procedure data showed a rate of adequate bowel preparation of 84.2 %, CIR 73.4 %, PDR 40.5 %, mean withdrawal time 7.8 minutes and 12.2 % of procedures with possible removal of a non-pedunculated lesion ≥ 20 mm reporting tattooing. Our findings clearly show areas in need of quality improvement and the importance of promoting quality monitoring throughout the colonoscopy procedure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/a-1486-6729DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8445680PMC
October 2021

Endoscopic Management of Bariatric Surgery Complications According to a Standardized Algorithm.

Obes Surg 2021 10 23;31(10):4327-4337. Epub 2021 Jul 23.

Unité d'Endoscopie Interventionnelle, Hôpital Privé des Peupliers, Ramsay Générale de Santé, 8 Place de l'Abbé G. Hénocque, 75013, Paris, France.

Background And Aims: Endoscopy is effective in management of bariatric surgery (BS) adverse events (AEs) but a comprehensive evaluation of long-term results is lacking. Our aim is to assess the effectiveness of a standardized algorithm for the treatment of BS-AE.

Patients And Methods: We retrospectively analyzed 1020 consecutive patients treated in our center from 2012 to 2020, collecting data on demographics, type of BS, complications, and endoscopic treatment. Clinical success (CS) was evaluated considering referral delay, healing time, surgery, and complications type. Logistic regression was performed to identify variables of CS.

Results: In the study period, we treated 339 fistulae (33.2%), 324 leaks (31.8%), 198 post-sleeve gastrectomy twist/stenosis (19.4%), 95 post-RYGB stenosis (9.3 %), 37 collections (3.6%), 15 LAGB migrations (1.5%), 7 weight regains (0.7%), and 2 hemorrhages (0.2%). Main endoscopic treatments were as follows: pigtail-stent positioning under endoscopic view for both leaks (CS 86.1%) and fistulas (CS 77.2%), or under EUS-guidance for collections (CS 88.2%); dilations and/or stent positioning for sleeve twist/stenosis (CS 80.6%) and bypass stenosis (CS 81.5%). After a median (IQR) follow-up of 18.5 months (4.29-38.68), complications rate was 1.9%. We found a 1% increased risk of redo-surgery every 10 days of delay to the first endoscopic treatment. Endoscopically treated patients had a more frequent regular diet compared to re-operated patients.

Conclusions: Endoscopic treatment of BS-AEs following a standardized algorithm is safe and effective. Early endoscopic treatment is associated with an increased CS rate.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11695-021-05577-6DOI Listing
October 2021

EUS-guided biopsy confocal laser endomicroscopy in patients with pancreatic cystic lesions: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Endosc Ultrasound 2021 Jul-Aug;10(4):270-279

Gastro Unit, Pancreatitis Centre East, Hvidovre Hospital, Hvidovre; Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Copenhagen, København, Denmark.

Background And Objectives: Pancreatic cystic lesions (PCLs) are frequent incidental findings on cross-sectional imaging and represent a diagnostic challenge as different kinds of PCLs harbor a dissimilar risk of malignancy. Two diagnostic tools have recently been developed and introduced: through-the-needle biopsy (TTNB) and needle-based confocal laser endomicroscopy (nCLE). The aim of this meta-analysis was to compare the diagnostic yield and performance, as well as the safety profile of the two methods.

Methods: This meta-analysis was performed in accordance with the PRISMA statement. Medline, Embase, Web of Science, and Cochrane Library databases were searched for studies with five or more patients undergoing either endoscopic ultrasound (EUS)-TTNB or EUS-nCLE for a PCL. Reviews, case reports, editorials, conference abstracts, and studies on exclusively solid pancreatic lesions were excluded. Outcomes of interest were diagnostic yield and performance, safety, and technical success.

Results: Twenty studies with 1023 patients were included in the meta-analysis. Pooled diagnostic yield of EUS-nCLE was higher compared to EUS-TTNB (85% vs. 74%, P < 0.0001), while diagnostic performance was high and comparable for both methods (pooled sensitivity: 80% vs. 86% and pooled specificity: 80% vs. 83% for TTNB and nCLE, respectively, P > 0.05). Pooled estimate of total adverse event (AE) rate was 5% in the TTNB group and 3% in the nCLE group, P = 0.302. Technical success rates were high and comparable (94% and 99% for EUS-TTNB and nCLE, respectively; P = 0.07).

Conclusion: EUS-TTNB and EUS-nCLE have a similar safety profile with a relatively low number of AEs. Technical success, sensitivity, and specificity are comparable; however, EUS-nCLE seems to have a slightly higher diagnostic yield.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4103/EUS-D-20-00172DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8411554PMC
July 2021

Artificial intelligence and colonoscopy experience: lessons from two randomised trials.

Gut 2021 Jun 29. Epub 2021 Jun 29.

Gastroenterology and Digestive Endoscopy Unit, Ospedale Nuovo Regina Margherita, Roma, Italy.

Background And Aims: Artificial intelligence has been shown to increase adenoma detection rate (ADR) as the main surrogate outcome parameter of colonoscopy quality. To which extent this effect may be related to physician experience is not known. We performed a randomised trial with colonoscopists in their qualification period (AID-2) and compared these data with a previously published randomised trial in expert endoscopists (AID-1).

Methods: In this prospective, randomised controlled non-inferiority trial (AID-2), 10 non-expert endoscopists (<2000 colonoscopies) performed screening/surveillance/diagnostic colonoscopies in consecutive 40-80 year-old subjects using high-definition colonoscopy with or without a real-time deep-learning computer-aided detection (CADe) (GI Genius, Medtronic). The primary outcome was ADR in both groups with histology of resected lesions as reference. In a post-hoc analysis, data from this randomised controlled trial (RCT) were compared with data from the previous AID-1 RCT involving six experienced endoscopists in an otherwise similar setting.

Results: In 660 patients (62.3±10 years; men/women: 330/330) with equal distribution of study parameters, overall ADR was higher in the CADe than in the control group (53.3% vs 44.5%; relative risk (RR): 1.22; 95% CI: 1.04 to 1.40; p<0.01 for non-inferiority and p=0.02 for superiority). Similar increases were seen in adenoma numbers per colonoscopy and in small and distal lesions. No differences were observed with regards to detection of non-neoplastic lesions. When pooling these data with those from the AID-1 study, use of CADe (RR 1.29; 95% CI: 1.16 to 1.42) and colonoscopy indication, but not the level of examiner experience (RR 1.02; 95% CI: 0.89 to 1.16) were associated with ADR differences in a multivariate analysis.

Conclusions: In less experienced examiners, CADe assistance during colonoscopy increased ADR and a number of related polyp parameters as compared with the control group. Experience appears to play a minor role as determining factor for ADR.

Trial Registration Number: NCT:04260321.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/gutjnl-2021-324471DOI Listing
June 2021

Impact of artificial intelligence on colorectal polyp detection.

Best Pract Res Clin Gastroenterol 2021 Jun-Aug;52-53:101713. Epub 2020 Dec 4.

Digestive Endoscopy Unit, Division of Gastroenterology, Humanitas Clinical and Research Center IRCCS, Rozzano, 20089, Italy; Department of Biomedical Sciences, Humanitas University, Pieve Emanuele, MI, Italy.

Since colonoscopy and polypectomy were introduced, Colorectal Cancer (CRC) incidence and mortality decreased significantly. Although we have entered the era of quality measurement and improvement, literature shows that a considerable amount of colorectal neoplasia is still missed by colonoscopists up to 25%, leading to an high rate of interval colorectal cancer that account for nearly 10% of all diagnosed CRC. Two main reasons have been recognised: recognition failure and mucosal exposure. For this purpose, Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems have been recently developed that identify a "hot" area during the endoscopic examination. In retrospective studies, where the systems are tested with a batch of unknown images, deep learning systems have shown very good performances, with high levels of accuracy. Of course, this setting may not reflect actual clinical practice where different pitfalls can occur, like suboptimal bowel preparation or poor examination technique. For this reason, a number of randomised clinical trials have recently been published where AI was tested in real time during endoscopic examinations. We present here an overview on recent literature addressing the performance of Computer Assisted Detection (CADe) of colorectal polyps in colonoscopy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bpg.2020.101713DOI Listing
July 2021

Higher rate of en bloc resection with underwater than conventional endoscopic mucosal resection: A meta-analysis.

Dig Liver Dis 2021 Aug 29;53(8):958-964. Epub 2021 May 29.

Department of Gastroenterology, University Hospital Augsburg, Augsburg, Germany.

Objectives: Previous meta-analysis including nonrandomized studies showed marginal benefit of underwater endoscopic mucosal resection(U-EMR) compared to conventional EMR(C-EMR) in terms of polypectomy outcomes. We evaluated U-EMR compared to C-EMR in the treatment of colorectal polyps with respect to effectiveness and safety by analyzing only randomized controlled trials(RCTs).

Material And Methods: PubMed and Cochrane Library databases were searched for RCTs published until 11/2020, evaluating U-EMR vs. C-EMR regarding en bloc resection, post-endoscopic resection adenoma recurrence, complete resection, adverse events rates and difference in resection time. Abstracts from Digestive Disease Week, United European Gastroenterology Week and ESGE Days meetings were also searched. Effect size on outcomes is presented as risk ratio(RR; 95% confidence interval[CI]) or mean difference(MD; 95%CI). The I test was used for quantifying heterogeneity, while Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation(GRADE) was used to assess strength of evidence.

Results: Six RCTs analyzing outcomes from 1157 colorectal polypectomies(U-EMR589;C-EMR,568) were included. U-EMR associated with significant higher rate of en bloc resection compared to C-EMR [RR(95%CI):1.26(1.01-1.58); Chi² for heterogeneity=30.43, P<0.0001; I²=84%, GRADE: Very low]. This effect was more prominent regarding resection of polyps sized ≥20 mm compared to polyps <20 mm [RR(95%CI):1.64(1.22-2.20) vs. 1.10(0.98-1.23)]. Post-resection recurrence [RR(95%CI):0.52(0.28-0.94);GRADE:Low] was lower significantly in U-EMR group. In contrast, no significant difference was detected between U-EMR and C-EMR regarding complete resection [RR(95%CI): 1.06(0.91-1.24) GRADE:Very low] and adverse events occurrence[RR(95%CI):1.00 (0.72-1.39); GRADE:Low].

Conclusion: Meta-analysis of RCTs supports that U-EMR resection achieves higher rate of en bloc resection compared to conventional EMR. This effect is driven when resecting large(≥20 mm) polyps.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dld.2021.05.001DOI Listing
August 2021

Endoscopists' diagnostic accuracy in detecting upper gastrointestinal neoplasia in the framework of artificial intelligence studies.

Endoscopy 2021 May 5. Epub 2021 May 5.

Gastroenterology Department, Portuguese Oncology Institute of Porto, Porto, Portugal.

Background:  Estimates on miss rates for upper gastrointestinal neoplasia (UGIN) rely on registry data or old studies. Quality assurance programs for upper GI endoscopy are not fully established owing to the lack of infrastructure to measure endoscopists' competence. We aimed to assess endoscopists' accuracy for the recognition of UGIN exploiting the framework of artificial intelligence (AI) validation studies.

Methods:  Literature searches of databases (PubMed/MEDLINE, EMBASE, Scopus) up to August 2020 were performed to identify articles evaluating the accuracy of individual endoscopists for the recognition of UGIN within studies validating AI against a histologically verified expert-annotated ground-truth. The main outcomes were endoscopists' pooled sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive value (PPV/NPV), and area under the curve (AUC) for all UGIN, for esophageal squamous cell neoplasia (ESCN), Barrett esophagus-related neoplasia (BERN), and gastric adenocarcinoma (GAC).

Results:  Seven studies (2 ESCN, 3 BERN, 1 GAC, 1 UGIN overall) with 122 endoscopists were included. The pooled endoscopists' sensitivity and specificity for UGIN were 82 % (95 % confidence interval [CI] 80 %-84 %) and 79 % (95 %CI 76 %-81 %), respectively. Endoscopists' accuracy was higher for GAC detection (AUC 0.95 [95 %CI 0.93-0.98]) than for ESCN (AUC 0.90 [95 %CI 0.88-0.92]) and BERN detection (AUC 0.86 [95 %CI 0.84-0.88]). Sensitivity was higher for Eastern vs. Western endoscopists (87 % [95 %CI 84 %-89 %] vs. 75 % [95 %CI 72 %-78 %]), and for expert vs. non-expert endoscopists (85 % [95 %CI 83 %-87 %] vs. 71 % [95 %CI 67 %-75 %]).

Conclusion:  We show suboptimal accuracy of endoscopists for the recognition of UGIN even within a framework that included a higher prevalence and disease awareness. Future AI validation studies represent a framework to assess endoscopist competence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/a-1500-3730DOI Listing
May 2021

Novel 1-L polyethylene glycol + ascorbate versus high-volume polyethylene glycol regimen for colonoscopy cleansing: a multicenter, randomized, phase IV study.

Gastrointest Endosc 2021 Oct 30;94(4):823-831.e9. Epub 2021 Apr 30.

Digestive Endoscopy Unit, Carpi-Mirandola Hospitals, Azienda USL Modena.

Background And Aims: Adequate bowel cleansing is critical to ensure quality and safety of a colonoscopy. A novel 1-L polyethylene glycol plus ascorbate (1L-PEG+ASC) regimen was previously validated against low-volume regimens but was never compared with high-volume regimens.

Methods: In a phase IV study, patients undergoing colonoscopy were randomized 1:1 to receive split-dose 1L PEG+ASC or a split-dose 4-L PEG-based regimen (4L-PEG) in 5 Italian centers. Preparation was assessed with the Boston Bowel Preparation Scale (BBPS) by local endoscopists and centralized reading, both blinded to the randomization arm. The primary endpoint was noninferiority of 1L-PEG+ASC in colon cleansing. Secondary endpoints were superiority of 1L-PEG+ASC, patient compliance, segmental colon cleansing, adenoma detection rate, tolerability, and safety.

Results: Three hundred eighty-eight patients (median age, 59.8 years) were randomized between January 2019 and October 2019: 195 to 1L-PEG+ASC and 193 to 4L-PEG. Noninferiority of 1L-PEG+ASC was demonstrated for cleansing in both the entire colon (BBPS ≥ 6: 97.9% vs 93%; relative risk [RR], 1.03; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.001-1.04; P superiority = .027) and in the right-sided colon segment (98.4% vs 96.0%; RR, 1.02; 95% CI, .99-1.02; P noninferiority = .013). Compliance was higher with 1L-PEG+ASC than with 4L-PEG (178/192 [92.7%] vs 154/190 patients [81.1%]; RR, 1.10; 95% CI, 1.05-1.12), whereas no difference was found regarding safety (moderate/severe side effects: 20.8% vs 25.8%; P = .253). No difference in adenoma detection rate (38.8% vs 43.0%) was found.

Conclusions: One-liter PEG+ASC showed noninferiority compared with 4L-PEG in achieving adequate colon cleansing and provided a higher patient compliance. No differences in tolerability and safety were detected. (Clinical trial registration number: NCT03742232.).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gie.2021.04.020DOI Listing
October 2021

Training methods in optical diagnosis and characterization of colorectal polyps: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Endosc Int Open 2021 May 22;9(5):E716-E726. Epub 2021 Apr 22.

Institute of Translational Medicine and Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom.

Correct optical diagnosis of colorectal polyps is crucial to implement a resect and discard strategy. Training methods have been proposed to reach recommended optical diagnosis thresholds. The aim of our study was to present a systematic review and meta-analysis on optical diagnosis training. PubMed/Medline and Cochrane databases were searched between 1980 and October 2019 for studies reporting outcomes on optical diagnosis training of colorectal polyps. The primary outcome was optical diagnosis accuracy compared to histological analysis pre-training and post-training intervention. Subgroup analyses of experienced/trainee endoscopists, training methods, and small/diminutive polyps were included. Overall, 16 studies met inclusion criteria, analyzing the impact of training on 179 endoscopists. Pre-training accuracy was 70.3 % (6416/9131 correct diagnoses) whereas post-training accuracy was 81.6 % (7416/9213 correct diagnoses) (risk ratio [RR] 1.17; 95 % confidence interval [CI]: 1.09-1.24,  < 0.001). In experienced endoscopists, accuracy improved from 69.8 % (3771/5403 correct diagnoses) to 82.4 % (4521/5485 correct diagnoses) (RR 1.20; 95 % CI: 1.11-1.29,  < 0.001). Among trainees, accuracy improved from 69.6 % (2645/3803 correct diagnoses) to 78.8 % (2995/3803 correct diagnoses) (RR 1.14; 95 % CI 1.06-1.24,  < 0.001). In the small/diminutive polyp subgroup, accuracy improved from 68.1 % (3549/5214 correct diagnoses) to 77.1 % (4022/5214 correct diagnoses) in (RR 1.16 95 % CI 1.08-1.24  < 0.001). On meta-regression analysis, the improvement in accuracy did not differ between computerized vs. didactic training approaches for experienced (  = 0.792) and trainee endoscopists (  = 0.312). Optical diagnosis training is effective in improving accuracy of histology prediction in colorectal polyps. Didactic and computer-based training show comparable effectiveness in improving diagnostic accuracy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/a-1381-7181DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8062231PMC
May 2021

AI everywhere in endoscopy, not only for detection and characterization.

Endosc Int Open 2021 Apr 14;9(4):E627-E628. Epub 2021 Apr 14.

Clinical Effectiveness Research Group, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/a-1373-4799DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8046591PMC
April 2021

Revising the European Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ESGE) research priorities: a research progress update.

Endoscopy 2021 05 1;53(5):535-554. Epub 2021 Apr 1.

Gastroenterology Department, Portuguese Oncology Institute of Porto, Porto, Portugal.

Background: One of the aims of the European Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ESGE) is to encourage high quality endoscopic research at a European level. In 2016, the ESGE research committee published a set of research priorities. As endoscopic research is flourishing, we aimed to review the literature and determine whether endoscopic research over the last 4 years had managed to address any of our previously published priorities.

Methods: As the previously published priorities were grouped under seven different domains, a working party with at least two European experts was created for each domain to review all the priorities under that domain. A structured review form was developed to standardize the review process. The group conducted an extensive literature search relevant to each of the priorities and then graded the priorities into three categories: (1) no longer a priority (well-designed trial, incorporated in national/international guidelines or adopted in routine clinical practice); (2) remains a priority (i. e. the above criterion was not met); (3) redefine the existing priority (i. e. the priority was too vague with the research question not clearly defined).

Results: The previous ESGE research priorities document published in 2016 had 26 research priorities under seven domains. Our review of these priorities has resulted in seven priorities being removed from the list, one priority being partially removed, another seven being redefined to make them more precise, with eleven priorities remaining unchanged. This is a reflection of a rapid surge in endoscopic research, resulting in 27 % of research questions having already been answered and another 27 % requiring redefinition.

Conclusions: Our extensive review process has led to the removal of seven research priorities from the previous (2016) list, leaving 19 research priorities that have been redefined to make them more precise and relevant for researchers and funding bodies to target.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/a-1397-3005DOI Listing
May 2021

Role of fluorescence confocal microscopy for rapid evaluation of EUS fine-needle biopsy sampling in pancreatic solid lesions.

Gastrointest Endosc 2021 09 31;94(3):562-568.e1. Epub 2021 Mar 31.

Operative Endoscopy Department, Campus Bio-Medico University Hospital, Rome, Italy.

Background And Aims: EUS fine-needle biopsy (EUS-FNB) sampling is the standard procedure for diagnosis of pancreatic lesions. Fluorescence confocal microscopy (FCM) allows imaging of tissues in the fresh state, requiring minimal preparation without damage or loss of tissue. Until now, no data exist on FCM in the field of microhistologic specimens. We aimed to assess the diagnostic performance of FCM in predicting histologic adequacy of EUS-FNB samples in pancreatic solid lesions and to assess the agreement between FCM evaluation and final histology.

Methods: In this single-center prospective study on consecutive patients with pancreatic lesions receiving EUS-FNB, the obtained samples have been evaluated at FCM and classified as "inadequate" or "adequate" (benign, suspicious, or malignant). The kappa test was used to quantify agreement. The diagnostic accuracy of FCM was assessed. A P < .05 was considered to be statistically significant.

Results: From April 2020 to September 2020, 81 patients were enrolled. In all cases FCM showed the macro image of the sample and created a digital image. Of the samples, 92.6% was defined as adequate at the FCM evaluation and confirmed at histopathology. Histologic diagnoses were 8% benign, 17.3% atypical/suspicious, and 74.7% malignant with satisfactory agreement with the FCM evaluation (Cohen's κ coefficient, .95; 95% confidence interval [CI], .89-1.01; P = .001). The sensitivity of the FCM evaluation was 100% (95% CI, 95%-100%), specificity 66.7% (95% CI, 22.3%-95.7%), accuracy 97% (95% CI, 90.7%-99.7%), positive predictive value 97% (95% CI, 91.8%-99%), and negative predictive value 100%.

Conclusions: FCM represents a new technique successfully applicable to microhistologic specimens. It provides fast information about sample adequacy in small specimens with good agreement in the final histology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gie.2021.03.029DOI Listing
September 2021

Superficial neoplasia involving the Ileocecal valve: Clinical outcomes of endoscopic submucosal dissection.

Dig Liver Dis 2021 Jul 21;53(7):889-894. Epub 2021 Mar 21.

Endoscopy Division, Yokohama City University Medical Center, Yokohama, Japan.

Background: Endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD) is the treatment of choice for colorectal superficial neoplasia, but certain anatomical locations are challenging even for skilled endoscopists. Ileocecal valve (ICV) is considered a technically challenging site for ESD.

Objective: Aim of this study was to analyze efficacy and safety of Endoscopic Submucosal Dissection in the treatment of colorectal neoplasia involving the ileocecal valve (ICV) DESIGN: Retrospective study.

Patients: We retrospectively evaluated 1507 consecutive patients undergoing ESD at two tertiary referral centres for ESD (Italy and Japan) from January 2008 to March 2020.

Main Outcome Measures: Demographic, clinical, procedural, and follow-up data was collected, analysed, and compared between patients with ileocecal valve lesions (ICVL) and patients with non-ICVL.

Results: Overall, 1507 patients were enrolled (872 M, 57.8%), of these 53 patients had lesions involving the ICV. Mean age was 70.2 years (range, 53-83 years). En-bloc resection was achieved in 52 (98%) patients. The median specimen size of ICVL was 36.4 mm (range, 8-80 mm), significantly smaller than non-ICVL (p = 0.005). Procedure time was significantly longer in the ICVL group, (71.3 vs. 58.9 min; p = 0.03). Non Granular Type Laterally Spreading Tumors (LST-NG) were significantly more frequent in the ICVL group compared to rectum (52.8% vs. 25.7; p = 0.0001). En-bloc resection rate in the ileocecal region did not differ significantly between groups (p = 0.20). Complications such as perforation and postoperative occurred respectively in 3/53 (5.7%) and 1/53 (2%) patient, and were treated conservatively. At first surveillance colonoscopy performed at 6 months, recurrent adenoma was detected in 2/53 patients (3.9%).

Conclusions: ESD is safe and effective for the treatment of colorectal neoplasia involving the ileocecal valve if performed by expert endoscopist in referral centres.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dld.2021.03.005DOI Listing
July 2021

Meta-analyses of machine learning in endoscopy: stacking apples and oranges.

Gastrointest Endosc 2021 05 11;93(5):1016-1018. Epub 2021 Mar 11.

Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Amsterdam UMC, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gie.2021.01.010DOI Listing
May 2021

Leukocytes and creatinine may predict severity and guide management of ischemic colitis.

Ann Gastroenterol 2021 16;34(2):202-207. Epub 2021 Jan 16.

Digestive Endoscopy Unit and Gastroenterology, Fondazione Poliambulanza Istituto Ospedaliero, Brescia (Sebastian Manuel Milluzzo, Paola Cesaro, Nicola Olivari, Tony Sabatini, Cristiano Spada).

Background: Ischemic colitis (IC) is caused by a transient hypo-perfusion of the colon leading to mucosal ulcerations, inflammation, and hemorrhage. The primary aim was to identify predictive factors of endoscopic severity of IC. Secondary endpoints were to show epidemiology, clinical presentation, endoscopic findings, and outcomes of IC.

Methods: In this single-center retrospective analysis, IC was scored according to endoscopy as: grade 1 (hyperemia, <1 cm erosions and non-confluent ulcers); grade 2 (>1 cm superficial, partially confluent ulcers); and grade 3 (deep or diffuse ulcers or necrosis). Then, IC was grouped into low- (grade 1) and high-grade (grades 2 and 3). Significant (P≤0.1) independent factor of severe IC at univariate analysis were entered into multivariate analysis and considered significant at P<0.05.

Results: 227 patients (male:female 60:167; mean age 72.7±16.2 years) were included. IC was scored as grade 1 in 137/227 (60.4%), grade 2 in 62/227 (27.3%), and grade 3 in 28/227 (12.3%) patients. At univariate analysis, age (74.9 vs. 71.3 years; P=0.09), diabetes (14.4% vs. 12.4%; P=0.09), and leukocytosis or creatinine elevation (74.4% vs. 60.6%; P=0.032) were associated with endoscopic high-grade IC. At multivariate analysis, leukocytosis and creatinine levels remained associated with high-grade IC (44.7% vs. 29.9%; odds ratio 1.92, 95% confidence interval 1.07-3.52; P=0.030).

Conclusions: Although confounding factors cannot be excluded due to study design and patients' characteristics, leukocytosis and/or creatinine elevation at hospital admission were significantly related with endoscopic high-grade IC and might be used to stratify patients for the need of endoscopy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.20524/aog.2021.0577DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7903565PMC
January 2021

Impact of Covid-19 pandemic on Ophthalmic Emergency Department in an Italian tertiary eye centre.

Eur J Ophthalmol 2021 Feb 25:1120672121998223. Epub 2021 Feb 25.

Department of Neurosciences, Biomedicine and Movement Sciences, University of Verona, Verona, Italy.

Purpose: To evaluate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Ophthalmic Emergency Department (OED) activity of the tertiary eye centre of Verona.

Methods: OED reports of patients visited during lockdown (COVID-period) and in the corresponding period of 2017, 2018 and 2019 (COVID-free period) have been retrieved to draw a comparison. Patients' demographic and clinical data recorded and analysed are the following: age, gender, previous ocular history, aetiology, symptoms onset, type of symptoms, discharge diagnosis, urgency and severity of diagnosis.

Results: OED consultations dropped from 20.6 ± 7.3 visits/day of the COVID-free period to 8.6 ± 4.6 visits/day of the COVID-period. In the COVID-period patients waited longer before physically going to the OED, lamented more vision loss and less redness and reported a higher percentage of traumatic events when compared to the COVID-free period. A significant reduction of ocular surface conditions occurred, while vitreo-retinal disorders increased. Overall, both urgency and severity of diagnosed diseases raised significantly in the COVID-period.

Conclusion: The COVID-19 pandemic drove a significant reduction of the overall OED activity. People with less urgent and milder conditions preferred to wait and endure their ocular discomfort for a few days rather than leaving home and risking to contract the infection. Our analysis highlights how several times the OED is used improperly by patients diagnosed with non-urgent disorders. A more accurate use of the OED would allow a reduction of management costs and the avoidance of overcrowding, which can lead to delays in the care of patients that really need assistance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1120672121998223DOI Listing
February 2021

Long-term outcomes of transoral incisionless fundoplication for gastro-esophageal reflux disease: systematic-review and meta-analysis.

Endosc Int Open 2021 Feb 3;9(2):E239-E246. Epub 2021 Feb 3.

Division of Gastroenterology & Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan, Italy.

Few reports exist about long-term outcomes of transoral incisionless fundoplication (TIF) for treating refractory gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD). A literature search of four major scientific databases was performed up to May 2020 for studies reporting on more than 3-year outcomes of TIF. Data on atient satisfaction, proton pump inhibitor (PPI) daily consumption, PPI use reduction, GERD health-related quality-of-life (GERD-HRQL) score, and normalization of heartburn and regurgitation scores were pooled and summarized with forest plots. Publication bias and heterogeneity were explored. Overall, eight studies (418 patients, 232 men; 55.5 %) with a mean follow-up of 5.3 years (range: 3-10 years) were included. The pooled proportion of patient-reported satisfaction before and after TIF was 12.3 % (95 % CI:12.3-35.1 %, I  = 87.4 %) and 70.6 % (95 % CI:51.2-84.6, I  = 80 %), respectively, corresponding to an odds ratio of 21.4 (95 % CI:3.27-140.5). Pooled rates of patients completely off PPIs and on occasional PPIs were 53.8 % (95 %CI: 42.0 %-65.1 %) and 75.8 % (95 %CI: 67.6-82.6), respectively. The pooled estimated mean GERD-HRQL scores off PPI before and after TIF werey 26.1 (95 %CI: 21.5-30.7; range: 20.0-35.5) and 5.9, respectively (95 %CI:0.35.1-11.4; range: 5.3-9.8;  < 0.001). The overall pooled rates of heartburn and regurgitation scores normalization were 73.0 % (95 %CI: 0.62-0.82) and 86 %, respectively (95 %CI: 75.0-91.0 %). Our study shows that TIF appears to offer a long-term safe therapeutic option for selected patients with GERD who refuse life-long medical therapy or surgery, are intolerant to PPIs, or are at increased surgical risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/a-1322-2209DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7857958PMC
February 2021

Adenoma detection by Endocuff-assisted versus standard colonoscopy in an organized screening program: the "ItaVision" randomized controlled trial.

Endoscopy 2021 Feb 1. Epub 2021 Feb 1.

Screening Unit, Institute for Cancer Research, Prevention and Oncological Network (ISPRO), Florence, Italy.

Background: The Endocuff Vision device (Arc Medical Design Ltd., Leeds, UK) has been shown to increase mucosal exposure, and consequently adenoma detection rate (ADR), during colonoscopy. This nationwide multicenter study assessed possible benefits and harms of using Endocuff Vision in a fecal immunochemical test (FIT)-based screening program.

Methods: Patients undergoing colonoscopy after a FIT-positive test were randomized 1:1 to undergo Endocuff-assisted colonoscopy or standard colonoscopy, stratified by sex, age, and screening history. Primary outcome was ADR. Secondary outcomes were ADR stratified by endoscopists' ADR, advanced ADR (AADR), adenomas per colonoscopy (APC), withdrawal time, and adverse events.

Results: 1866 patients were enrolled across 13 centers. After exclusions, 1813 (mean age 60.1 years; male 53.8 %) were randomized (908 Endocuff Vision, 905 standard colonoscopy). ADR was significantly higher in the Endocuff Vision arm (47.8 % vs. 40.8 %; relative risk [RR] 1.17, 95 % confidence interval [CI] 1.06-1.30), with no differences between arms regarding size or morphology. When stratifying for endoscopists' ADR, only low detectors (ADR < 33.3 %) showed a statistically significant ADR increase (Endocuff Vision 41.1 % [95 %CI 35.7-46.7] vs. standard colonoscopy 26.0 % [95 %CI 21.3-31.4]). AADR (24.8 % vs. 20.5 %, RR 1.21, 95 %CI 1.02-1.43) and APC (0.94 vs. 0.77;  = 0.001) were higher in the Endocuff Vision arm. Withdrawal time and adverse events were similar between arms.

Conclusion: Endocuff Vision increased ADR in a FIT-based screening program by improvingexamination of the whole colonic mucosa. Utility was highest among endoscopists with a low ADR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/a-1379-6868DOI Listing
February 2021

Risk of Colorectal Cancer and Cancer Related Mortality After Detection of Low-risk or High-risk Adenomas, Compared With No Adenoma, at Index Colonoscopy: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.

Gastroenterology 2021 05 29;160(6):1986-1996.e3. Epub 2021 Jan 29.

Department of Gastroenterology, Veteran Affairs Medical Center, Kansas City, Missouri.

Background & Aims: The risk of metachronous colorectal cancer (CRC) among patients with no adenomas, low-risk adenomas (LRAs), or high-risk adenomas (HRAs), detected at index colonoscopy, is unclear. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to compare incidence rates of metachronous CRC and CRC-related mortality after a baseline colonoscopy for each group.

Methods: We searched the PubMed, Embase, Google Scholar, and Cochrane databases for studies that reported the incidence of CRC and adenoma characteristics after colonoscopy. The primary outcome was odds of metachronous CRC and CRC-related mortality per 10,000 person-years of follow-up after baseline colonoscopy for all the groups.

Results: Our final analysis included 12 studies with 510,019 patients (mean age, 59.2 ± 2.6 years; 55% male; mean duration of follow up, 8.5 ± 3.3 years). The incidence of CRC per 10,000 person-years was marginally higher for patients with LRAs compared to those with no adenomas (4.5 vs 3.4; odds ratio [OR], 1.26; 95% CI, 1.06-1.51; I=0), but significantly higher for patients with HRAs compared to those with no adenoma ( 13.8 vs 3.4; odds ratio [OR], 2.92; 95% CI, 2.31-3.69; I=0 ) and patients with HRAs compared to LRAs (13.81 vs 4.5; OR, 2.35; 95% CI, 1.72-3.20; I=55%). However, the CRC-related mortality per 10,000 person-years did not differ significantly for patients with LRAs compared to no adenomas (OR, 1.15; 95% CI, 0.76-1.74; I=0) but was significantly higher in persons with HRAs compared with LRAs (OR, 2.48; 95% CI, 1.30-4.75; I=38%) and no adenomas (OR, 2.69; 95% CI, 1.87-3.87; I=0).

Conclusions: The results of this systematic review and meta-analysis demonstrate that the risk of metachronous CRC and mortality is significantly higher for patients with HRAs, but this risk is very low in patients with LRAs, comparable to patients with no adenomas. Follow-up of patients with LRAs detected at index colonoscopy should be the same as for persons with no adenomas.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1053/j.gastro.2021.01.214DOI Listing
May 2021

Performance of a new integrated computer-assisted system (CADe/CADx) for detection and characterization of colorectal neoplasia.

Endoscopy 2021 Jan 25. Epub 2021 Jan 25.

Department of Interdisciplinary Endoscopy, University Hospital Mainz, Mainz, Germany.

Background:  Use of artificial intelligence may increase detection of colorectal neoplasia at colonoscopy by improving lesion recognition (CADe) and reduce pathology costs by improving optical diagnosis (CADx).

Methods:  A multicenter library of ≥ 200 000 images from 1572 polyps was used to train a combined CADe/CADx system. System testing was performed on two independent image sets (CADe: 446 with polyps, 234 without; CADx: 267) from 234 polyps, which were also evaluated by six endoscopists (three experts, three non-experts).

Results:  CADe showed sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of 92.9 %, 90.6 %, and 91.7 %, respectively. Experts showed significantly higher accuracy and specificity, and similar sensitivity, while non-experts + CADe showed comparable sensitivity but lower specificity and accuracy than CADe and experts. CADx showed sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of 85.0 %, 79.4 %, and 83.6 %, respectively. Experts showed comparable performance, whereas non-experts + CADx showed comparable accuracy but lower specificity than CADx and experts.

Conclusions:  The high accuracy shown by CADe and CADx was similar to that of experts, supporting further evaluation in a clinical setting. When using CAD, non-experts achieved a similar performance to experts, with suboptimal specificity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/a-1372-0419DOI Listing
January 2021

Artificial intelligence-aided colonoscopy: Recent developments and future perspectives.

World J Gastroenterol 2020 Dec;26(47):7436-7443

Gastroenterology Unit, Nuovo Regina Margherita Hospital, Rome 00153, Italy.

Artificial intelligence (AI) systems, especially after the successful application of Convolutional Neural Networks, are revolutionizing modern medicine. Gastrointestinal Endoscopy has shown to be a fertile terrain for the development of AI systems aiming to aid endoscopists in various aspects of their daily activity. Lesion detection can be one of the two main aspects in which AI can increase diagnostic yield and abilities of endoscopists. In colonoscopy, it is well known that a substantial rate of missed neoplasia is still present, representing the major cause of interval cancer. In addition, an extremely high variability in adenoma detection rate, the main key quality indicator in colonoscopy, has been extensively reported. The other domain in which AI is believed to have a considerable impact on everyday clinical practice is lesion characterization and aid in "optical diagnosis". By predicting histology, such pathology costs may be averted by the implementation of two separate but synergistic strategies, namely the "leave-in-situ" strategy for < 5 mm hyperplastic lesions in the rectosigmoid tract, and "resect and discard" for the other diminutive lesions. In this opinion review we present current available evidence regarding the role of AI in improving lesions' detection and characterization during colonoscopy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3748/wjg.v26.i47.7436DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7754556PMC
December 2020

Standalone performance of artificial intelligence for upper GI neoplasia: a meta-analysis.

Gut 2020 Oct 30. Epub 2020 Oct 30.

CIDES/CINTESIS, Faculty of Medicine, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal

Objective: Artificial intelligence (AI) may reduce underdiagnosed or overlooked upper GI (UGI) neoplastic and preneoplastic conditions, due to subtle appearance and low disease prevalence. Only disease-specific AI performances have been reported, generating uncertainty on its clinical value.

Design: We searched PubMed, Embase and Scopus until July 2020, for studies on the diagnostic performance of AI in detection and characterisation of UGI lesions. Primary outcomes were pooled diagnostic accuracy, sensitivity and specificity of AI. Secondary outcomes were pooled positive (PPV) and negative (NPV) predictive values. We calculated pooled proportion rates (%), designed summary receiving operating characteristic curves with respective area under the curves (AUCs) and performed metaregression and sensitivity analysis.

Results: Overall, 19 studies on detection of oesophageal squamous cell neoplasia (ESCN) or Barrett's esophagus-related neoplasia (BERN) or gastric adenocarcinoma (GCA) were included with 218, 445, 453 patients and 7976, 2340, 13 562 images, respectively. AI-sensitivity/specificity/PPV/NPV/positive likelihood ratio/negative likelihood ratio for UGI neoplasia detection were 90% (CI 85% to 94%)/89% (CI 85% to 92%)/87% (CI 83% to 91%)/91% (CI 87% to 94%)/8.2 (CI 5.7 to 11.7)/0.111 (CI 0.071 to 0.175), respectively, with an overall AUC of 0.95 (CI 0.93 to 0.97). No difference in AI performance across ESCN, BERN and GCA was found, AUC being 0.94 (CI 0.52 to 0.99), 0.96 (CI 0.95 to 0.98), 0.93 (CI 0.83 to 0.99), respectively. Overall, study quality was low, with high risk of selection bias. No significant publication bias was found.

Conclusion: We found a high overall AI accuracy for the diagnosis of any neoplastic lesion of the UGI tract that was independent of the underlying condition. This may be expected to substantially reduce the miss rate of precancerous lesions and early cancer when implemented in clinical practice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/gutjnl-2020-321922DOI Listing
October 2020

Real-time unblinding for validation of a new CADe tool for colorectal polyp detection.

Gut 2021 04 12;70(4):641-643. Epub 2020 Oct 12.

Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University Hospitals Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/gutjnl-2020-322491DOI Listing
April 2021

'I want to have virtual reality distraction during my colonoscopy!'

Endosc Int Open 2020 Oct 22;8(10):E1389-E1391. Epub 2020 Sep 22.

Endoscopy Unit, Nuovo Regina Margherita Hospital, Rome, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/a-1226-6412DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7508655PMC
October 2020

AI in endoscopy: is the computer innocent in case of missed cancer?

Endosc Int Open 2020 Oct 22;8(10):E1387-E1388. Epub 2020 Sep 22.

CIDES/CINTESIS, Faculty of Medicine, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/a-1214-5937DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7508650PMC
October 2020
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