OBJECTIVE: Management of acute severe UC (ASUC) during the novel COVID-19 pandemic presents significant dilemmas. We aimed to provide COVID-19-specific guidance using current British Society of Gastroenterology (BSG) guidelines as a reference point.
DESIGN: We convened a RAND appropriateness panel comprising 14 gastroenterologists and an IBD nurse consultant supplemented by surgical and COVID-19 experts. Panellists rated the appropriateness of interventions for ASUC in the context of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. Median scores and disagreement index (DI) were calculated. Results were discussed at a moderated meeting prior to a second survey.
RESULTS: Panellists recommended that patients with ASUC should be isolated throughout their hospital stay and should have a SARS-CoV-2 swab performed on admission. Patients with a positive swab should be discussed with COVID-19 specialists. As per BSG guidance, intravenous hydrocortisone was considered appropriate as initial management; only in patients with COVID-19 pneumonia was its use deemed uncertain. In patients requiring rescue therapy, infliximab with continuing steroids was recommended. Delaying colectomy because of COVID-19 was deemed inappropriate. Steroid tapering as per BSG guidance was deemed appropriate for all patients apart from those with COVID-19 pneumonia in whom a 4-6 week taper was preferred. Post-ASUC maintenance therapy was dependent on SARS-CoV-2 status but, in general, biologics were more likely to be deemed appropriate than azathioprine or tofacitinib. Panellists deemed prophylactic anticoagulation postdischarge to be appropriate in patients with a positive SARS-CoV-2 swab.
CONCLUSION: We have suggested COVID-19-specific adaptations to the BSG ASUC guideline using a RAND panel.
© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2020. Re-use permitted under CC BY. Published by BMJ. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported (CC BY 4.0) license, which permits others to copy, redistribute, remix, transform and build upon this work for any purpose, provided the original work is properly cited, a link to the licence is given, and indication of whether changes were made.
Din, S., Kent, A., Pollok, R., Meade, S., Kennedy, N., Arnott, I., Beattie, R., Chua, F., Cooney, R., Dart, R., Galloway, J., Gaya, D., Ghosh, S., Griffiths, M., Hancock, L., Hansen, R., Hart, A., Lamb, Christopher A., Lees, C., Limdi, J., Lindsay, J., Patel, K., Powell, N., Murray, C., Probert, C., Raine, T., Selinger, C., Sebastian, S., Smith, P., Tozer, P., Ustianowski, A., Younge, L., Samaan, M. & Irving, P. 2020, 'Adaptations to the British Society of Gastroenterology guidelines on the management of acute severe UC in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic: a RAND appropriateness panel', Gut, 69(10), pp. 1769-1777. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/gutjnl-2020-321927