Background: The aim of this investigation was to elucidate the clinical value of intraoperative enteroscopy (IOE) for Crohn's disease, and to determine the value of IOE in predicting recurrent disease.
Methods: In this study 27 patients requiring surgery were examined by both preoperative radiography and IOE. The findings obtained by these procedures in the remnant small intestine were compared. In 19 patients, the clinical course and colonoscopic or radiographic findings after surgery were analyzed.
Results: Intestinal lesions were identified in 23 patients by IOE, and in 19 patients by radiography. Longitudinal ulcers were equivalently detected by IOE (63%) and radiography (56%), whereas small ulcers and inflammatory polyps were less frequently detected by radiography than by IOE (37% vs 74% and 19% vs 33%, respectively). Neither the presence nor the distribution of IOE findings was related to postoperative recurrence.
Conclusions: Whereas IOE demonstrates small intestinal lesions in detail, the procedure alone cannot predict postoperative recurrence in Crohn's disease.