Background: Evidence for endoscopic balloon dilation of small intestinal strictures in Crohn's disease (CD) using balloon-assisted enteroscopy is scarce. Aim: To evaluate endoscopic balloon dilation for the treatment of small intestinal CD strictures using balloon-assisted enteroscopy. Methods: Citations in Embase, MEDLINE, and Cochrane were systematically reviewed. In a meta-analysis of 18 studies with 463 patients and 1189 endoscopic balloon dilations, technical success was defined as the ability to dilate a stricture. Individual data were also obtained on 218 patients to identify outcome-relevant risk factors. Results: In the pooled per-study analysis, technical success rate of endoscopic balloon dilation was 94.9%, resulting in short-term clinical efficacy in 82.3% of patients. Major complications occurred in 5.3% of patients. During follow-up, 48.3% of patients reported symptom recurrence, 38.8% were re-dilated and 27.4% proceeded to surgery. On the per-patient-based multivariable analysis, that patients with disease activity in the small intestine had lower short-term clinical efficacy (odds ratio 0.32; 95% confidence interval 0.14-0.73, P = 0.007). Patients with concomitant active disease in the small and/or large intestine had an increased risk to proceed toward surgery (hazard ratio 1.85; 95% confidence interval 1.09-3.13, P = 0.02 and hazard ratio 1.77; 95% confidence interval 1.34-2.34, P < 0.001). Conclusions: Balloon-assisted enteroscopy for dilatation of CD-associated small intestinal strictures has high short-term technical and clinical efficacy and low complication rates. However, up to two-thirds of patients need re-dilation or surgery.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes