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Device-assisted enteroscopy in the UK: description of a large tertiary case series under conscious sedation


Objective Device-assisted enteroscopy (DAE) has developed rapidly, particularly with the advent of double-balloon enteroscopy (DBE). This study reports a case series from a UK tertiary centre for DAE across two modalities—DBE and spiral enteroscopy (SE)—under conscious sedation.

Design Retrospective observational study of 257 enteroscopy procedures from 2008 to 2014. Data were collected on demographics, indications, diagnosis, sedation requirements, duration, complications, tolerance, therapy performed and completion rate. Procedures were performed under conscious sedation using a combination of midazolam, pethidine and fentanyl in a solely outpatient setting.

Results Obscure gastrointestinal bleeding (OGIB) was the commonest indication for DAE (n=164, 63.8%). Overall, yield of DAE was 47.2% and varied significantly across the indications (p=0.003). There was a greater likelihood of positive findings if the indication was polyposis syndrome (75%), abnormal capsule endoscopy (67%) or OGIB (53%) and in older patients (mean age normal exam 60.3 vs abnormal exam 67.9 years, p<0.001). Higher mean doses of midazolam were used for DBE from above (5.4 mg, SD 2.24) and SE (5.6 mg, SD 2.9) to DBE from below (4.4 mg, SD 1.8). No serious complications were recorded. Tolerance of DAE was good with the majority (240/257, 93.4%) of procedures tolerated with comfort scores 0 or 1. Therapy was performed in 121/257 (47.1%) of procedures. The strongest predictor indications for therapy to be performed at DAE were abnormal capsule endoscopy (88.9%) and occult gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding (54.9%). Completion rates were higher in DBEb (91.8%) compared to DBEa (76.5%) and SE (81.6%).

Conclusion DAE under conscious sedation is safe and well tolerated. DAE has a high yield if performed for recognised indications and may be safely used to provide therapy where a diagnosis has been made using other modalities.

  • enteroscopy

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