Chronic gastrointestinal bleeding of obscure origin: role of small bowel enteroscopy

Gastroenterology. 1988 May;94(5 Pt 1):1117-20. doi: 10.1016/0016-5085(88)90001-7.


The source of blood loss remains undetermined in 5% of patients with chronic gastrointestinal bleeding. A new technique of small bowel enteroscopy with a prototypic sonde-type enteroscope 9 ft in length was used to examine 60 patients referred to the hospital with gastrointestinal bleeding of obscure origin. With an average procedure time of 6 h, the enteroscope migrated to the ileum or beyond in 77% of patients. Thirty-three percent (20 of 60 patients) had the source of blood loss identified within the small bowel at enteroscopy. Small bowel enteroscopy is a useful tool in patients with chronic gastrointestinal bleeding of obscure origin and can be considered when standard invasive and noninvasive modalities have failed to diagnose a site of bleeding.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Arteriovenous Malformations / complications
  • Arteriovenous Malformations / diagnosis
  • Chronic Disease
  • Endoscopes
  • Female
  • Fiber Optic Technology
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Diseases / complications
  • Intestinal Diseases / diagnosis
  • Intestine, Small / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Peristalsis