Small bowel enteroscopy: an early experience in gastrointestinal bleeding of unknown origin

Gastrointest Endosc. Jan-Feb 1991;37(1):5-8. doi: 10.1016/s0016-5107(91)70612-3.


Peroral small intestinal enteroscopy was performed in 35 consecutive patients with gastrointestinal bleeding of unknown origin by using a prototypic Sonde-type enteroscope. The median value for patient age was 69 years; duration of bleeding, 2 years (range, 2 months to 9 years); and transfusion requirements, 9 units. Bleeding was occult in 54% of these patients. Placement and passage of the enteroscope was performed by a gastrointestinal endoscopy assistant. Mean passage time was 4.3 hours. Complete passage was obtained in 14% of the patients, passage into the mid-distal ileum in 69%, and passage only into the jejunum in 17%. The diagnostic yield was 26%, with the majority of lesions encountered being mucosal vascular malformations. Small intestinal enteroscopy is a reasonable diagnostic procedure before embarking on visceral angiography and surgical exploration when standard endoscopic and radiologic methods fail to disclose a diagnosis.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Arteriovenous Malformations / complications
  • Arteriovenous Malformations / diagnosis
  • Endoscopes, Gastrointestinal*
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / diagnosis*
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / etiology
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Mucosa / blood supply
  • Intestine, Small / pathology*
  • Male
  • Telangiectasis / complications
  • Telangiectasis / diagnosis
  • Time Factors