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The role of small bowel endoscopy for Crohn's disease

Chetcuti Zammit, Stefaniaa; Ellul, Pierreb; Sidhu, Reenaa

Current Opinion in Gastroenterology: May 2019 - Volume 35 - Issue 3 - p 223–234
doi: 10.1097/MOG.0000000000000519
SMALL INTESTINE: Edited by Reena Sidhu

Purpose of review The review discusses the roles of small bowel capsule endoscopy and deep enteroscopy in patients with Crohn's disease. It highlights recent advances in the field and identifies areas where evidence is lacking.

Recent findings Small bowel capsule endoscopy has an important role in the follow-up of patients with Crohn's disease after escalation of therapy and in the postoperative assessment period following surgical resection. Device-assisted enteroscopy offers the therapeutic advantage of small bowel dilatation, which may result in a reduction in the number of surgical resections required, thus avoiding long-term complications, such as short bowel syndrome and malabsorption.

Summary Capsule endoscopy has an established role in the diagnosis and management of small bowel Crohn's disease. It is used in the setting of suspected Crohn's disease when ileocolonoscopy is negative and for the assessment of extent of small bowel disease in established Crohn's disease. It is relatively well tolerated because of the provision of patency capsule endoscopy to minimize the risk of inadvertent capsule retention. Device-assisted enteroscopy aids with the diagnosis of Crohn's disease as it enables histology to be taken from inflamed areas within the small bowel. Therapeutic procedures can be carried out during device-assisted enteroscopy including dilatation of Crohn's disease-related strictures and retrieval of retained capsules.

aAcademic Department of Gastroenterology, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, Sheffield, UK

bGastroenterology Department, Mater Dei Hospital, Msida, Malta

Correspondence to Stefania Chetcuti Zammit, Academic Department of Gastroenterology, P floor, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, Sheffield, UK. Tel: +0 114 226 1180; e-mail:

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