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J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2009 Feb;24(2):185-92. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1746.2008.05773.x.

Current state of double balloon endoscopy: the latest approach to small intestinal diseases.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Jichi Medical University, Shimotsuke, Tochigi, Japan.


Recent developments of capsule endoscopy and double balloon endoscopy (DBE) have made endoscopic examination of the entire small bowel practical, and changed the diagnostic algorithm for small bowel diseases. Double balloon endoscopy uses two balloons, one attached to the tip of the endoscope and another at the distal end of an overtube. By using these balloons to grip the intestinal wall, the endoscope can be inserted further without forming redundant loops of intestine. Total inspection by DBE is usually achieved by combination of sequential oral and anal intubations; success rates are reported to be 40-80%. Indications for DBE include scrutiny for obscure gastrointestinal bleeding, small bowel tumor, small bowel stricture and following up evaluation of previously diagnosed small bowel diseases. Because DBE has an accessory channel and good maneuverability in the distal small intestine, it enables endoscopic treatment, including hemostasis, balloon dilation, polypectomy, mucosal resection, retrieval of foreign bodies and endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (in the case of post-operative anastomoses). Double balloon endoscopy is also useful for cases of difficult colonoscopy, providing success rates of total colonoscopy between 88-100%. Although it has been a few years since its development, the usefulness of DBE is now well recognized. This challenging procedure has become popular rapidly and is currently used in many countries.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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