Background and study aims: Double-balloon endoscopy (DBE) is a new device that allows diagnosis and treatment throughout the entire small intestine. Although the originally described method requires two operators, we have recently developed a method to perform DBE by a single operator. We here assessed the clinical usefulness of this one-person method in comparison to the conventional two-person DBE.
Patients and methods: One hundred sixty-two patients (102 men and 60 women, mean age 59 years) underwent 303 DBE procedures. Total observation time, completion rate of total intestinal and colonic observation, lesion-discovery rate, and complication rate were retrospectively compared between the one-person method and the conventional two-person method of DBE. The one-person method consists of the Grip and Pinch technique and Keep (or Hold) and Slide technique.
Results: The total observation times were 95.5 +/- 35.1 min and 96.7 +/- 47.5 min by one-person and two-person antegrade DBE, respectively, and 103 +/- 29.8 min and 111 +/- 30.1 min by one-person and two-person retrograde DBE, respectively. The completion rate for examination of the entire small intestine was 74.2% in one-person DBE and 76.5% in two-person DBE, respectively. The lesion-discovery rate was 69.0% in one-person DBE and 65.5% in two-person DBE, respectively. No significant differences between two methods were found in all measures. Also, no difference was observed in complication rate of the two methods.
Conclusions: The single-operator method for DBE was as efficient as the dual-operator DBE without any higher risk of complications and, therefore, could replace the conventional dual-operator method in the future.