Endoscopic assessment of the small bowel

Rami Eliakim, Dan Carter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Small bowel imaging and endoscopy in IBD have undergone a tremendous change and advancement in the recent years. Modalities shifted from gastroscopy, colonoscopy and small bowel follow through to ileocolonoscopy, CT or MR enteroscopy, wireless video capsule endoscopy and balloon-assisted enteroscopy. Methods: We reviewed the present role of endoscopy in assessing the small bowel in the context of IBD. Results: Endoscopy has a major role in the diagnosis of IBD, in the assessment of its extent, treatment of complications, assessment of the success of various medications and as a predictor of disease course. Wireless capsule endoscopy (WCE) is a relatively new tool allowing direct, patient-friendly visualization of the entire small bowel mucosa. It has gained a substantial role in the evaluation of patients with suspected Crohn's disease (CD) and indeterminate colitis. WCE has a high positive predictive value in patients with suspected CD, when one uses more than two of the International Conference on Capsule Endoscopy criteria, and not less important a very high negative predictive value in patients with suspected CD. Its role in patients with known CD, in the assessment of their disease activity and extent, assessment of postsurgical small bowel recurrence and evaluation of mucosal healing is still unclear. Balloon-assisted enteroscopy has established its role as a complementary tool in cases where there is a need for biopsy or treatment (dilatation of strictures). Conclusions: The present review summarizes the role of endoscopy in the assessment of the small bowel in the context of IBD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)194-198
Number of pages5
JournalDigestive Diseases
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2013


  • Crohn's disease
  • Device-assisted enteroscopy
  • Small bowel capsule endoscopy


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