Author(s): Cappell MS
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Abstract Although gastrointestinal endoscopy is generally safe, its safety must be separately analyzed during pregnancy with regard to fetal safety. Fetal risks from endoscopic medications are minimized by avoiding FDA category D drugs, minimizing endoscopic medications, and anesthesiologist attendance at endoscopy. Esophagogastroduodenoscopy seems to be relatively safe for the fetus and may be performed when strongly indicated during pregnancy. Despite limited clinical data, endoscopic banding of esophageal varices and endoscopic hemostasis of nonvariceal upper gastrointestinal bleeding seems justifiable during pregnancy. Flexible sigmoidoscopy during pregnancy also appears to be relatively safe for the fetus and may be performed when strongly indicated. Colonoscopy may be considered in pregnant patients during the second trimester if there is a strong indication. Data on colonoscopy during the other trimesters are limited. Therapeutic endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography seems to be relatively safe during pregnancy and should be performed for strong indications (for example, complicated choledocholithiasis). Endoscopic safety precautions during pregnancy include the performance of endoscopy in hospital by an expert endoscopist and only when strongly indicated, deferral of endoscopy to the second trimester whenever possible, and obstetric consultation.
This article was published in Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol
and referenced in Journal of Pregnancy and Child Health