Complications Associated With Double Balloon Enteroscopy at Nine US Centers

Lauren B. Gerson, Jeffrey Tokar, Michael Chiorean, Simon Lo, G. Anton Decker, David Cave, Doumit BouHaidar, Daniel Mishkin, Charles Dye, Oleh Haluszka, Jonathan A. Leighton, Alvin Zfass, Carol Semrad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Scopus citations


Background & Aims: Double balloon enteroscopy (DBE) was introduced into the US in 2004. Potential complications include perforation, pancreatitis, and gastrointestinal bleeding. Prevalence and risk factors for complications have not been described in a US population. Methods: We conducted a retrospective study of DBE complications in 9 US centers. We obtained detailed information for each complication including patient history, maneuvers performed during the DBE, and presence of altered surgical anatomy. Results: We collected data from 2478 DBE examinations performed from 2004 to 2008. The dataset included 1691 (68%) anterograde DBE, 722 (29%) retrograde DBE (including 5 per-stomal DBEs), and 65 (3%) DBE-facilitated endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography ERCP cases. There were a total of 22 (0.9%) major complications including perforation in 11 (0.4%), pancreatitis in 6 (0.2%), and bleeding in 4 (0.2%) patients. One of 6 cases of pancreatitis occurred post retrograde DBE. Perforations occurred in 3/1691 (0.2%) anterograde examinations and 8/719 (1.1%) retrograde DBEs (P = .004). Eight (73%) perforations occurred during diagnostic DBE examinations. Four of 8 retrograde DBE perforations occurred in patients with prior ileoanal or ileocolonic anastomoses. In the subset of 219 examinations performed in patients with surgically altered anatomy, perforations occurred in 7 (3%), including 1/159 (0.6%) anterograde DBE examinations, 6/60 (10%) retrograde DBEs, and 1 of 5 (20%) peristomal DBE examinations (P < .005 compared with patients without surgically altered anatomy). Conclusions: DBE is associated with a higher complication rate compared with standard endoscopic procedures. The perforation rate was significantly elevated in patients with altered surgical anatomy undergoing diagnostic retrograde DBE examinations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1177-1182.e3
JournalClinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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