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Gastrointest Endosc. 2010 Oct;72(4):766-72. doi: 10.1016/j.gie.2010.04.043. Epub 2010 Jul 8.

A comparative evaluation of single-balloon enteroscopy and spiral enteroscopy for patients with mid-gut disorders.

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  • 1Department of Medicine and Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.



Single-balloon enteroscopy (SBE) and spiral enteroscopy (SE) are recently described device-assisted techniques in endoluminal evaluation of the small bowel. No studies comparing SBE and SE in patients with suspected small-bowel disorders have previously been reported.


The aims of this study were to compare SBE and SE in terms of diagnostic yield, procedure time, depth of maximal insertion, and complications.


Retrospective cohort study.


Tertiary-care referral center.


A retrospective analysis was performed on all patients at our institution undergoing anterograde SBE or SE between 2007 and 2009. Patients with altered anatomy or prior small-bowel surgery were excluded.


Deep enteroscopy.


Diagnostic yield.


During the study period, 92 patients underwent 105 procedures (52 SBE, 53 SE). The most common indication for small-bowel endoscopy was obscure GI bleeding (n = 42). The diagnostic yield was not statistically different between SBE and SE (59.6% and 43.4%, respectively, P = .12). The overall diagnostic yield in patients with obscure GI bleeding was 67%. There was no significant difference between mean SBE and SE procedure times (53 minutes [range 15-99 minutes] vs 47 minutes [range 20-125 minutes], respectively; P = .2). The mean depth of maximal insertion beyond the ligament of Treitz for SE was significantly higher than that for SBE (301 cm [range 175-400 cm] vs 222 cm [range 110-400 cm], respectively; P < .001). Perforation occurred in one SBE procedure.


Retrospective design and nonstandardized gas insufflation.


This is the first report comparing SE and SBE. Although SE yielded greater depth of maximal insertion than SBE, both techniques had similar diagnostic yields and procedure times. In addition, both techniques were safe and were particularly useful in patients with obscure GI bleeding.

Copyright © 2010 American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

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