Healthcare professionals in endoscopy units have a possible risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection by different routes: inhalation of airborne droplets, aerosols, conjunctival contact and faecal-oral transmission .
OBJECTIVE: To describe the detection of SARS-CoV-2 in a series of patients scheduled for digestive endoscopy at the Hospital Santa Caterina . Salt . (Girona).
METHODS: Descriptive study of a series of cases of patients scheduled for endoscopy during the month of May 2020, when endoscopic activity was resumed after the peak of the pandemic, following SCD, SEED, AEG and ESGE recommendations . We examined nasopharyngeal samples 48-72 hours before the appointment, by RT-PCR, in all patients . RNA extraction was performed using the kits: Qiagen®-adapted, BiosSprint®96-DNA-Blood-Kit (384). For amplification-detection of SARS-CoV-2, methods recommended by the WHO and the CDC were followed .
RESULTS : 110 asymptomatic patients without close contact with a positive case in the previous 14 days were scheduled; 105 (96.4 %) were negative and five (4.5 %) were positive . Two patients developed respiratory symptoms after diagnosis (presymptomatic) and three remained asymptomatic . Allfive5 patients were autochthonous cases with no history of travel or residence in another city or country associated with high prevalence of infection . Four cases were women aged 60-81 years . The N gene was detected in all cases .
CONCLUSIONS: A high prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection was detected in patients scheduled for digestive endoscopy . Given the risk of transmission to professionals, we consider it advisable to perform SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR 48-72 hours before the examination in situations of high incidence in the population.