Evaluation of Deep Small Bowel Involvement by Double-Balloon Enteroscopy in Crohn's Disease

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OBJECTIVESDouble-balloon enteroscopy (DBE) enables inspection of deep small bowel, and total small bowel examination can be performed by either antegrade or retrograde DBE. The aim of this study was to evaluate ileal involvement, which cannot be achieved using conventional colonoscopy, by DBE in patients with Crohn's disease.METHODSFrom December 2003 to September 2005, a total of 44 patients with Crohn's disease underwent 53 examinations using DBE.RESULTSForty patients with Crohn's disease, seven women and 33 men, underwent DBE, and the ileum was investigated in 38 patients. There were 25 cases of ileitis, 2 of colitis, and 13 of ileocolitis. Jejunal lesions were found in two and ileal lesions proximal to the terminal ileum were found in 24 patients with Crohn's disease. DBE was superior to radiological study to detect aphthae, erosions, and small ulcers in the ileum. Small bowel stricture was demonstrated in six and nine patients with DBE and small bowel barium study (SBBS), respectively. An additional mucosal finding was demonstrated in one of the eight patients who underwent wireless capsule endoscopy, and one patient had a capsule removed by DBE that had become lodged because of an ileal stricture. One ileal perforation because of overtube balloon pressure occurred in 53 examinations of patients with Crohn's disease (1.9%).CONCLUSIONDBE is useful to evaluate small bowel lesions in patients with Crohn's disease; however, special attention should be paid to mesenteric longitudinal ulcers during insertion and the overtube balloon should not be inflated if a clear intestinal view is not possible.

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