Is a Repeat Double Balloon Endoscopy in the Same Direction Useful in Patients With Recurrent Obscure Gastrointestinal Bleeding?

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To evaluate the usefulness of repeat double balloon endoscopy (DBE) in obscure gastrointestinal bleeding (OGIB).


OGIB recurs in 11% to 42% of patients after DBE. Little is known about the outcome of repeat DBE in recurrent OGIB after DBE.


We reviewed clinical course of patients who underwent repeat DBE for recurrent OGIB in the same direction as in previous DBE. Diagnostic yield and therapeutic intervention of repeat DBE were analyzed.


Thirty-five repeat DBEs were performed in 32 patients (M:F=15:17; age range, 36 to 85 y). The first DBE identified a probable bleeding source in 21 (65.6%) patients. Angiodysplasia was the most common and was found in 16 patients. The second DBEs were performed after a median of 30 weeks (range, 1 to 204 wk). Oral approach only was performed in 28 patients and anal approach only in 4. Probable bleeding sources were detected in 17 (53.1%) patients. Sixteen (94.1%) cases were angiodysplasia, of which 14 patients had angiodysplasia also at the first DBE. All detected bleeding sources were managed with endoscopic interventions such as argon plasma coagulation. Seventeen of 21 patients with positive first DBE showed bleeding source at the repeat DBE, whereas none of the 11 patients with negative first DBE did (81.0% vs. 0%; P<0.001). Three patients underwent the third DBE. Angiodysplasias were detected in 2 patients (66.7%).


Repeat DBE in the same direction may detect bleeding sources in 53% of recurrent OGIB patients. The probability of bleeding source detection in repeat DBE is higher in patients with a prior positive DBE.

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