Clin Endosc.  2013 Sep;46(5):480-485.

Deep Enteroscopy: Which Technique Will Survive?

  • 1Institute for Digestive Research, Digestive Disease Center, Soonchunhyang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


The advent of deep enteroscopy (DE) has dramatically changed diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to small bowel diseases. Unlike capsule endoscopy, which is unable to obtain biopsies or treat a disease, DE techniques have diagnostic and therapeutic capabilities. Double-balloon enteroscopy (DBE) was introduced in 2001, and single-balloon enteroscopy (SBE) and spiral enteroscopy (SE) were subsequently developed for small bowel investigation. In published reports comparing these different enteroscopy techniques, most comparative parameters (depth of insertion, complications, learning curve, diagnostic yield, and therapeutic yield) were comparable among DBE, SBE, and SE. However, the procedure duration appears to be shorter for SE than for DBE and SBE. The rate of complete enteroscopy is clearly superior for DBE, compared with SE and SBE. Because these results do not indicate an increase in diagnostic or therapeutic yield, the clinical impact of complete enteroscopy remains controversial. According to previous studies, the three DE methods seem to be equally effective and safe in the clinical setting. Although larger randomized controlled trials are needed to evaluate the procedural characteristics and clinical impact, the selection of an enteroscopic technique should be based on availability and the endoscopist's experience.


Double-balloon enteroscopy; Single-balloon enteroscopy; Spiral enteroscopy
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