Background and study aims: Capsule endoscopy (CE) and double-balloon enteroscopy (DBE) have been introduced as modalities for examining the entire small bowel. The aim of the present study was to assess the clinical effects of CE and DBE to consider the roles of CE and DBE and the indications for the procedures in patients with suspected small-bowel bleeding. Patients and methods: Between June 2004 and January 2005, 32 patients in whom a site of bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract had not been identified were enrolled in the study. Twenty-eight patients were examined with both methods. Bleeding sources were categorized as either A1 lesions (immediate hemostatic procedures required) or A2 lesions (close observation required). CE and DBE were evaluated with regard to whether or not they were capable of accessing the entire small bowel and provided a diagnosis, and the access and diagnostic rates were calculated. Results: On CE, 13 patients were diagnosed with A1 lesions and six with A2 lesions; on DBE, 11 had A1 lesions and one had an A2 lesion. The access rate for the entire small intestine on CE was 90.6% (29 of 32), significantly higher than with DBE at 62.5% (10 of 16; P < 0.05). The diagnostic rate on CE was 59.4% (19 of 32), higher than with DBE at 42.9% (12 of 28; P = 0.30), but not significantly different. Among patients with A1 lesions who were diagnosed with DBE, histological diagnoses were obtained in six of the 11, and three patients were treated. Conclusions: In many suspected small-bowel bleeding cases, CE should be selected for the initial diagnosis and DBE for treatment or histopathological diagnosis after detection of the bleeding site on CE.
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