Consensus on the digestive endoscopic tunnel technique

World J Gastroenterol. 2019 Feb 21;25(7):744-776. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v25.i7.744.


With the digestive endoscopic tunnel technique (DETT), many diseases that previously would have been treated by surgery are now endoscopically curable by establishing a submucosal tunnel between the mucosa and muscularis propria (MP). Through the tunnel, endoscopic diagnosis or treatment is performed for lesions in the mucosa, in the MP, and even outside the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. At present, the tunnel technique application range covers the following: (1) Treatment of lesions originating from the mucosal layer, e.g., endoscopic submucosal tunnel dissection for oesophageal large or circular early-stage cancer or precancerosis; (2) treatment of lesions from the MP layer, per-oral endoscopic myotomy, submucosal tunnelling endoscopic resection, etc.; and (3) diagnosis and treatment of lesions outside the GI tract, such as resection of lymph nodes and benign tumour excision in the mediastinum or abdominal cavity. With the increasing number of DETTs performed worldwide, endoscopic tunnel therapeutics, which is based on DETT, has been gradually developed and optimized. However, there is not yet an expert consensus on DETT to regulate its indications, contraindications, surgical procedure, and postoperative treatment. The International DETT Alliance signed up this consensus to standardize the procedures of DETT. In this consensus, we describe the definition, mechanism, and significance of DETT, prevention of infection and concepts of DETT-associated complications, methods to establish a submucosal tunnel, and application of DETT for lesions in the mucosa, in the MP and outside the GI tract (indications and contraindications, procedures, pre- and postoperative treatments, effectiveness, complications and treatments, and a comparison between DETT and other operations).

Keywords: Digestive endoscopic tunnel technique; Endoscopic submucosal tunnel dissection; Gastrointestinal tract; Per-oral endoscopic myotomy; Submucosal tunnelling endoscopic resection.

Publication types

  • Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Consensus*
  • Digestive System Diseases / surgery*
  • Endoscopes, Gastrointestinal
  • Endoscopic Mucosal Resection / adverse effects
  • Endoscopic Mucosal Resection / instrumentation
  • Endoscopic Mucosal Resection / methods
  • Endoscopic Mucosal Resection / standards*
  • Humans
  • Patient Selection
  • Postoperative Care / methods
  • Postoperative Care / standards
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology
  • Postoperative Complications / prevention & control*
  • Preoperative Care / methods
  • Preoperative Care / standards
  • Treatment Outcome