Background and study aims: Video capsule endoscopy and double-balloon enteroscopy (DBE) are novel methods of enteroscopy. The aim of this investigation was to compare the value of CE and DBE in the diagnosis of small-intestinal pathology. Patients and methods: Thirteen patients with gastrointestinal bleeding of obscure origin and nine patients with known gastrointestinal polyposis were examined using antegrade or retrograde DBE, and the most distal or proximal site in the explored small intestine was marked by submucosal injection of sterilized ink. The patients were then evaluated by CE. Video images obtained by CE were reviewed by an observer who was blinded to the DBE findings. Results: DBE identified positive findings in 12 patients (54.5%). CE identified positive findings in the area explored by DBE in eight patients (36.4%), and in the unexplored area in 11 patients (50.0%). The overall diagnostic yield in the area explored by DBE did not differ between the two procedures. The enteroscopic findings in the area explored by DBE were concordant in 12 of 13 patients with gastrointestinal bleeding of obscure origin. In patients with polyposis, the diagnoses were discordant in three patients, in whom CE failed to detect any polyp. In two of three polyposis patients with concordant positive findings, DBE detected a larger number of polyps than CE did. Conclusions: DBE appears to be superior to CE in the diagnosis of small-intestinal polyps, whereas the value for diagnosing gastrointestinal bleeding of obscure origin is similar in the two procedures.
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