Enteroclysis in the evaluation of obscure gastrointestinal bleeding

AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1994 Dec;163(6):1381-4. doi: 10.2214/ajr.163.6.7992733.


Objective: The diagnostic yield of enteroclysis was retrospectively evaluated for patients with obscure bleeding from the gastrointestinal tract.

Materials and methods: A total of 128 patients with obscure gastrointestinal bleeding were referred to our department for enteroclysis between 1988 and 1993. The original radiologic reports were reviewed to determine the radiographic findings in these patients. The radiographic findings then were correlated with medical, surgical, and pathologic findings.

Results: Thirty-two patients had lesions found at enteroclysis. Nineteen of those patients had confirmation of the radiographic diagnosis, primarily by pathologic examination of the surgical specimen. Five other patients were found at surgery to have had false-positive diagnoses at enteroclysis. Eight patients ceased to bleed without pathologic corroboration, but their clinical presentation and course supported the radiographic diagnosis. Thus, 27 (21%) of the 128 patients had confirmed or highly probable lesions seen at enteroclysis as the cause of obscure gastrointestinal bleeding. Seventeen patients (13%) had tumors involving the small bowel, and three (2%) had arteriovenous malformations in the jejunum.

Conclusion: This study corroborates earlier reports that enteroclysis is a useful diagnostic test for examining the small intestine in patients with obscure gastrointestinal bleeding.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Barium Sulfate
  • Enema
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / diagnostic imaging*
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / etiology
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Neoplasms / complications
  • Intestinal Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Intestine, Small / diagnostic imaging*
  • Male
  • Methylcellulose
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiography
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Barium Sulfate
  • Methylcellulose