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J Gastroenterol. 2008;43(8):589-96. doi: 10.1007/s00535-008-2198-1. Epub 2008 Aug 17.

Endoscopic characterization of the small bowel in patients with portal hypertension evaluated by double balloon endoscopy.

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Miyazaki Medical Center Hospital, Center for Digestive and Liver Diseases, Miyazaki, Japan.



The endoscopic abnormalities present in the small bowel (SB) of patients with portal hypertension (PH) are not well understood. This study sought to evaluate endoscopic findings of the SB in patients with PH by double balloon endoscopy (DBE).


We evaluated the endoscopic findings of SB in 15 patients with PH and 49 controls without liver disease or PH. A total of 24 and 90 procedures were performed for PH patients and control patients, respectively, through oral and/or anal approaches.


Fourteen of the 15 patients exhibited villous abnormalities, including edema (73%), atrophy (40%), and reddening (47%) of villi. Vascular lesions, such as angiodysplasia-like abnormalities (67%), dilated/proliferated vessels (93%), and varices (7%), were observed in all patients with PH. Although they were associated with ascites, these abnormalities did not correlate with any laboratory findings. None of these abnormalities was observed in controls. Definitive or suspected bleeding sources were identified in 9 of 13 patients with both PH and obscure gastrointestinal bleeding (OGIB), which was similar to the incidence in controls with OGIB. Although the frequency of postprocedure fever (>37.5 degrees C) was higher in patients with PH in comparison to controls (29% vs. 2%, P < 0.01), endoscopic treatment under DBE was performed on 3 PH patients without serious complications.


Endoscopic abnormalities of the SB may be prevalent in patients with PH. Although postprocedure fever of DBE may occur more commonly in patients with PH, DBE is useful as both a diagnostic and therapeutic tool to evaluate the SB.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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