Double-balloon Enteroscopy for Pediatric Patients: Evaluation of Safety and Efficacy in 257 Cases

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The safety and efficacy of double-balloon enteroscopy (DBE) in pediatric patients has not been well documented. We aimed to evaluate the clinical efficacy and safety of DBE in children, especially those under 10.


We retrospectively analyzed our database of DBE procedures performed between September 2000 and September 2013. Procedures performed in pediatric patients (under 18) were selected from a total of 3980, including double-balloon endoscopic retrograde cholangioscopy (DBERC).


Two hundred fifty-seven DBE procedures were performed in 117 pediatric patients (median age 12.5 years). Antegrade (oral-route) DBE was performed in 166 procedures including 104 DBERC procedures (lowest body weight 13.5 kg, youngest age 3 years), and retrograde (anal-route) DBE in 91 (lowest body weight 12.0 kg, youngest age 2 years). The overall diagnostic yield for obscure gastrointestinal bleeding and abdominal pain was 58.8%. The purpose of DBERC was achieved in 76.9% of procedures. The overall complication rate in our series was 5.4% (1.9% with the DBERC cases removed); in patients under 10, it was 10.4% (7/67). No severe complications associated with enteroscope insertion and sedation were observed. Serum amylase levels tended to be elevated in patients who underwent oral-route DBE.


DBE is safe and feasible for diagnostic evaluation of small bowel disorders in pediatric patients, even those younger than 10 years. Special attention for possible complications must, however, be paid during therapeutic DBE procedures, including DBERC, especially for patients under 10.

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