Optimising the use of small bowel endoscopy: a practical guide

Frontline Gastroenterol. 2019 Apr;10(2):171-176. doi: 10.1136/flgastro-2018-101077. Epub 2019 Jan 4.


The wireless nature of capsule endoscopy offers patients the least invasive option for small bowel investigation. It is now the first-line test for suspected small bowel bleeding. Furthermore meta-analyses suggest that capsule endoscopy outperforms small bowel imaging for small bowel tumours and is equivalent to CT enterography and magnetic resonance enterography for small bowel Crohn's disease. A positive capsule endoscopy lends a higher diagnostic yield with device-assisted enteroscopy. Device-assisted enteroscopy allows for the application of therapeutics to bleeding points, obtain histology of lesions seen, tattoo lesions for surgical resection or undertake polypectomy. It is however mainly reserved for therapeutics due to its invasive nature. Device-assisted enteroscopy has largely replaced intraoperative enteroscopy. The use of both modalities is discussed in detail for each indication. Current available guidelines are compared to provide a concise review.

Keywords: small bowel; small bowel disease; small bowel enteroscopy.

Publication types

  • Review