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Spontaneous Resolution of Uncomplicated Appendicitis may Explain Increase in Proportion of Complicated Appendicitis During Covid-19 Pandemic: a Systematic Review and Meta-analysis
Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Surgery, Orthopedics and Oncology. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Cty Hosp Ryhov, Sweden; Acad Hlth & Care, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1460-0248
Bra Liv Eksjo Primary Care Ctr, Sweden; Univ Ioannina, Greece.
Linköping University, Department of Health, Medicine and Caring Sciences, Division of Society and Health. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8678-1164
2023 (English)In: World Journal of Surgery, ISSN 0364-2313, E-ISSN 1432-2323, Vol. 47, p. 1901-1916Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BackgroundReports of an increased proportion of complicated appendicitis during the Covid-19 pandemic suggest a worse outcome due to delay secondary to the restrained access to health care, but may be explained by a concomitant decrease in uncomplicated appendicitis. We analyze the impact of the pandemic on the incidences of complicated and uncomplicated appendicitis.MethodWe did a systematic literature search in the PubMed, Embase and Web Of Science databases on December 21, 2022 with the search terms (appendicitis OR appendectomy) AND ("COVID" OR SARS-Cov2 OR "coronavirus"). Studies reporting the number of complicated and uncomplicated appendicitis during identical calendar periods in 2020 and the pre-pandemic year(s) were included. Reports with indications suggesting a change in how the patients were diagnosed and managed between the two periods were excluded. No protocol was prepared in advance. We did random effects meta-analysis of the change in proportion of complicated appendicitis, expressed as the risk ratio (RR), and of the change in number of patients with complicated and uncomplicated appendicitis during the pandemic compared with pre-pandemic periods, expressed as the incidence ratio (IR). We did separate analyses for studies based on single- and multi-center and regional data, age-categories and prehospital delay.ResultsThe meta-analysis of 100,059 patients in 63 reports from 25 countries shows an increase in the proportion of complicated appendicitis during the pandemic period (RR 1.39, 95% confidence interval (95% CI 1.25, 1.53). This was mainly explained by a decreased incidence of uncomplicated appendicitis (incidence ratio (IR) 0.66, 95% CI 0.59, 0.73). No increase in complicated appendicitis was seen in multi-center and regional reports combined (IR 0.98, 95% CI 0.90, 1.07).ConclusionThe increased proportion of complicated appendicitis during Covid-19 is explained by a decrease in the incidence of uncomplicated appendicitis, whereas the incidence of complicated appendicitis remained stable. This result is more evident in the multi-center and regional based reports. This suggests an increase in spontaneously resolving appendicitis due to the restrained access to health care. This has important principal implications for the management of patients with suspected appendicitis.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
SPRINGER , 2023. Vol. 47, p. 1901-1916
National Category
Surgery
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-194158DOI: 10.1007/s00268-023-07027-zISI: 000981379800001PubMedID: 37140609OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-194158DiVA, id: diva2:1760346
Note

Funding Agencies|Linkoping University

Available from: 2023-05-30 Created: 2023-05-30 Last updated: 2023-10-16

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