Surgical Endoscopy

, 23:2790 | Cite as

Use of double-balloon enteroscopy in the management of patients with Crohn’s disease: feasibility and diagnostic yield in a high-volume centre for inflammatory bowel disease

  • Gianpiero Manes
  • Venerina Imbesi
  • Sandro Ardizzone
  • Andrea Cassinotti
  • Stefano Pallotta
  • Gabriele Bianchi Porro



Double-balloon enteroscopy (DBE) is theoretically useful in Crohn’s disease (CD) since it is potentially able to investigate the whole small intestine, but sparse data are available.


To assess the feasibility, safety, and diagnostic yield of DBE in CD.


The study was conducted in a tertiary care centre for inflammatory bowel disease. Thirty-seven patients with CD (18/19 male/female, mean age 42 years, range 13–77 years) were considered. Thirty-two DBEs from the oral approach and 18 from the anal (in 6 patients from both ways with a complete exploration in 4, 10.8%) were performed. Indications were: first diagnosis/staging in 16 cases, diagnosis of stenosis in 7, obscure bleeding in 10, suspected neoplasia in 2, and postsurgical evaluation in 2. One hundred and thirty-three other procedures (3.7 per patient) were performed with the same indication.


Insertion depth from the oral route was 266.5 ± 100 cm and from the anal route 72.5 ± 60 cm. Ileocecal valve was passed in 8/13 patients, but in 4 DBE explored less than 50 cm of ileum. Diagnostic yield was 59.4% but changed according to indication (40% in obscure bleeding, 100% in case of strictures) and was higher when DBE was conducted on the basis of previous investigations (77.8% versus 40%, p = 0.037).


DBE is a feasible, useful, but technically demanding method in CD. Definition of the proper introduction route by means of previous investigations is associated with a higher efficacy of DBE.


Crohn’s disease Double-balloon enteroscopy Capsule endoscopy Diagnostic yield 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gianpiero Manes
    • 1
    • 2
  • Venerina Imbesi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sandro Ardizzone
    • 1
    • 2
  • Andrea Cassinotti
    • 1
    • 2
  • Stefano Pallotta
    • 1
    • 2
  • Gabriele Bianchi Porro
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Clinical ScienceL. Sacco University HospitalMilanoItaly
  2. 2.Department of GastroenterologyL. Sacco University HospitalMilanoItaly

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