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It is not worthwhile to perform ileoscopy on all patients

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It remains controversial whether ileoscopy should be attempted in all patients. Although the ease of ileoscopy and the diagnostic yield have been well described, there have been no studies describing the value of the diagnostic yield in altering clinical management. We carried out a study to ascertain whether it is worthwhile to perform ileoscopy in all patients having a colonoscopy.


We carried out a retrospective study of all patients who had a colonoscopy between January 1, 2002, and December 31, 2003. The patient details, indications, findings, and complications of the procedure were recorded, together with the histopathology reports of colonic and terminal ileal biopsies. Clinical case note of patients with a positive diagnosis was reviewed to ascertain whether there was a change to the patient’s management following an abnormal biopsy result.


A total of 2,149 colonoscopies were performed. In 346 patients (16.1%), the terminal ileum was intubated. There were 16 abnormal findings on histology, which gave a diagnostic yield of 4.6% of all ileoscopies. A change to management occurred in only half of these patients.


Ileoscopy should only be attempted in situations in which the indication is warranted and that would alter management. It is not cost-effective to carry out ileoscopy on all patients.

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Correspondence to K. K. Y. Yoong.

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Yoong, K.K.Y., Heymann, T. It is not worthwhile to perform ileoscopy on all patients. Surg Endosc 20, 809–811 (2006).

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