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Gastrointest Endosc Clin N Am. 2002 Jul;12(3):485-93.

Endoscopy of the small bowel in inflammatory bowel disease.

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University of Washington School of Medicine, 1959 North East Pacific Avenue, Box 356424, University of Washington Medical Center, Division of Gastroenterology, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.


With the heterogeneous clinical presentation of IBD, endoscopy plays an integral role in the initial diagnosis of Crohn's disease. Although radiographic tests are often supplemental in the evaluation of Crohn's disease, they previously had been the only modality available allowing for visualization of much of the small bowel. The advent of small bowel endoscopy allows for direct visualization, and often biopsy, of the small bowel, allowing for confirmation of diagnosing and extent of involvement. Currently, the only mode for obtaining biopsies from beyond the ligament of Treitz is via push enteroscopy or intraoperative enteroscopy. Knowing the extent of disease can also help explain recalcitrant symptoms or lack of response to certain therapies. With the advent of capsule endoscopy, endoscopic visualization of the entire small intestine is now possible with a relatively noninvasive test. Further advancements in capsule endoscopy may relegate push enteroscopy and intraoperative enteroscopy to those cases in which biopsies or therapy are required. In the future, total enteroscopy with new enteroscopes may become more widely available, allowing biopsies and therapy in all segments of the small intestine, without the need for operative intervention.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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