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PURPOSE: The histopathological effects of the COVID-19 period on the upper gastrointestinal system are not clearly known.
This study is the first in the literature to compare the results of upper endoscopic biopsy before and during the COVID19 period.
METHODS: Data of 10510 patients who underwent upper endoscopy with a given biopsy sample during the procedure between March 2019 and March 2021 were retrospectively scanned. Patients are divided into two groups as the prepandemic period patients and the COVID-19 pandemic period patients. The pathological data of these patients were statistically analyzed according to the Sydney classification.
RESULTS: Group 1 comprised of 6,787 patients with 3,915 females and 2872 males (F:M=1.3:1), while Group 2 with 1,734 females and 1,455 males (F:M=1.2:1), and this gender difference between the two groups was statistically significant (p=0.002). A comparison of the patient groups in terms of the inflammation, activation, intestinal metaplasia, and presence of H. pylori revealed a significant difference, with higher rates recorded in the COVID-19 period than in the pre-pandemic period (p < 0.05). CONCLUSION: In the pandemic period, the results of the upper endoscopic biopsy are adversely affected by various factors compared to the pre-pandemic period.