This is one of a series of statements discussing the use of GI endoscopy in common clinical situations. The Standards of Practice Committee of the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) prepared this guideline. In preparing this document, MEDLINE databases were used to search for publications pertaining to this topic between January 1990 and December 2013. Additional references were obtained from the bibliographies of the identified articles and from recommendations of expert consultants. When few or no data exist from well-designed, prospective trials, emphasis was given to results from large series and reports from recognized experts. The reported evidence and recommendations on the basis of reviewed studies were based on consensus opinion of the strength of the supporting evidence (Table 1). The strength of individual recommendations is based on both the aggregate evidence quality and an assessment of the anticipated benefits and harms. Weaker recommendations are indicated by phrases such as "We suggest.," whereas stronger recommendations are typically stated as "We recommend.." ASGE guidelines for the appropriate use of endoscopy are based on a critical review of the available data and expert consensus at the time that the documents are drafted. Further controlled clinical studies may be needed to clarify aspects of this document. This document may be revised as necessary to account for changes in technology, new data, or other aspects of clinical practice and is solely intended to be an educational device to provide information that may assist endoscopists in providing care to patients. This document is not a rule and should not be construed as establishing a legal standard of care or as encouraging, advocating, requiring, or discouraging any particular treatment. Clinical decisions in any particular case involve a complex analysis of the patient's condition and available courses of action. Therefore, clinical considerations may lead an endoscopist to take a course of action that varies from the recommendations and suggestions proposed in this document.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2014 by the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy.