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World J Gastroenterol. 2006 Dec 21;12(47):7654-9.

Double-balloon endoscopy in the diagnosis and management of GI tract diseases: Methodology, indications, safety, and clinical impact.

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Department of Gastroenterology, Aso Iizuka Hospital, 3-83 Yoshio town, Iizuka 820-8505, Japan.



To prospectively evaluate the indications, methodology, safety, and clinical impact of double-balloon endoscopy.


A total of 60 patients with suspected or documented small- or large-bowel diseases were investigated by double balloon endoscopy. A total of 103 procedures were performed (42 from the oral route, 60 from the anal route, and 1 from the stoma route). The main outcome measurements were the time of insertion and the entire examination, complications, diagnostic yields, and the ability to successfully perform treatment.


Observation of the entire small intestine was possible in 10 (40%) of 25 patients with total enteroscopy. The median insertion time was 122 min (range, 74-199 min). Observation of the entire colon was possible in 13 (93%) of 14 patients after failure of total colonoscopy using a conventional colonoscope. Small-intestine abnormalities were found in 20 (43%) of 46 patients with indications of suspected or documented small bowel diseases, obscure GI tract bleeding, or a history of ileus. Endoscopic procedures including tattooing (n = 33), bite biopsy (n = 17), radiographic examination (n = 7), EUS (n = 5), hemostasis (n = 1), polypectomy (n = 5), balloon dilatation (n = 1), endoscopic mucosal resection (n = 1) and lithotripsy (n = 1) were all successfully performed. No relevant technical problems or severe complications were encountered.


Double balloon endoscopy is a feasible technique that allows adequate small and large bowel examination and potentially various endoscopic procedures of small-intestinal lesions. It is safe, useful, and also provides a high clinical impact.

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