Double-Balloon Endoscopy in Crohn Disease: A Tertiary Referral Center Experience

Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2021 Jul 27;27(8):1248-1255. doi: 10.1093/ibd/izaa287.

Brendan P Halloran 1, Laith H Jamil 2, Simon K Lo 3, Matt Reeson 1, Eric A Vasiliauskas 3, Stephan Targan 3, Andrew Ippoliti 4, Neel K Mann 5, Gil Y Melmed 5


Author information

  • 1Division of Gastroenterology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
  • 2Section of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Beaumont Health, Royal Oak, Michigan, USA.
  • 3Division of Gastroenterology, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California, USA.
  • 4Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA.
  • 5Loma Linda University Medical Center, Loma Linda, California, USA.


Background: Crohn disease (CD) affects the small bowel in 80% of patients. Double balloon endoscopy (DBE) provides the potential for direct and extensive mucosal visualization with the potential for diagnostic monitoring and therapeutic intervention. This study aimed to investigate the safety and effectiveness of DBE in small-bowel CD.

Methods: From our DBE database, patients with CD at the time of index DBE (January 2004-January 2013) were identified. Data collection included demographics, CD phenotype (age at diagnosis, disease location, disease activity), procedural information, adverse events (perforation, pancreatitis, death), therapeutic intervention (stricture dilation), and outcome (escalation or maintenance of existing therapy, referral to surgery).

Results: A total of 184 DBEs were performed in patients with inflammatory bowel disease over 162 endoscopic sessions. In this cohort, 115 patients had previously diagnosed CD. A diagnosis of CD was made in 22 patients. Of those with known CD, 140 DBEs were performed in 82 patients; DBE findings led to escalation of medical therapy in 26% of patients, maintenance of therapy in 26% of patients, and surgery in 18% of patients. We considered DBE to have failed in 11% (n = 18) of patients. During 46 endoscopic sessions, in 29 patients, 103 strictures were dilated via balloon dilation. Of patients undergoing dilation with clinical follow-up, 19 of 24 (79%) patients were surgery-free during the study period. Overall, there were 2 perforations.

Conclusions: We found that DBE is a safe and effective procedure in patients with suspected or established CD. Furthermore, patients undergoing dilation of strictures via DBE had an 80% surgery-free rate within the follow-up period.

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