Objective: Capsule endoscopy has shown that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can damage the small intestine. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of NSAIDs enteropathy in subjects indicated for double-balloon endoscopy (DBE).
Material and methods: The Japanese Study Group for Double-Balloon Endoscopy (JSG-DBE) established a database for the practical use of DBE in the Japanese population during a 2-year period from 2004 to 2005. Using this database, we identified subjects who had been taking NSAIDs within a month prior to DBE (NSAIDs group) and those free from NSAIDs use (control group). The clinical background and DBE findings were compared between the two groups.
Results: Among 1035 patients registered in the JSG-DBE database, 61 subjects were classified as the NSAIDs group and 600 served as the control group. Patients in the NSAIDs group were older (62+/-18 versus 51+/-19 years, p<0.0001) and gastrointestinal bleeding was a more frequent indication for DBE (79% versus 44%, p<0.001) compared with in the control group. Non-specific mucosal breaks were detected by DBE in 31 patients in the NSAIDs group (51%) and 29 patients in the control group (5%, p <0.0001). Aspirin was less frequently prescribed and cardiovascular disease was a less frequent indication for NSAIDs use in patients with mucosal breaks than in those without breaks.
Conclusions: In the cases indicated for enteroscopy, NSAIDs enteropathy occurred in half of the patients taking NSAIDs. Aspirin seems to be less harmful to the small intestine than other NSAIDs.