Objectives: Double-balloon enteroscopy (DBE) is a newly developed endoscopic modality for diagnosis and treatment of small bowel disorders. Most publications on DBE are from adult medical centers. Publication related to the use and application of DBE in children and adolescents is limited. We present our experience with the use of DBE in the pediatric age group.
Patients and methods: We reviewed patient information on all of the DBE procedures performed in 2006 through 2008 at a single tertiary pediatric referral center in Columbus, Ohio. Compiled information included patient demographics, procedure indications, diagnostic and therapeutic results, and procedure-associated complications or adverse events.
Results: Thirteen DBE procedures were performed on eleven 8- to 20-year-old patients. Procedure indications were based on suspicion for organic small bowel pathology after an exhaustive diagnostic evaluation including upper and lower endoscopy failed to uncover an etiology. Clinically significant lesions were identified in 46% (6/13) of the procedures performed. No serious procedure-related complications occurred. Self-limited postprocedure abdominal pain and discomfort from gaseous distension was observed in several patients.
Conclusions: DBE appears to be a safe endoscopic modality for the diagnosis and treatment of children and adolescents with suspected small bowel disease. However, performance should be selectively reserved for patients with a high suspicion for small bowel pathology, in which other less invasive techniques have failed to adequately diagnose and treat a patient's disease.