Detection of suspected small bowel bleeding: challenges and controversies

Shabana F. Pasha, Jonathan A. Leighton

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Introduction: Detection of small bowel (SB) bleeding remains a challenge to gastroenterologists, with a dearth of standardized recommendations regarding evaluation and management. Areas covered: A recursive literature search was performed using PubMed, Cochrane and Medline databases for original and review articles on SB and obscure gastrointestinal bleeding (OGIB). Based upon the available literature, this review outlines the main challenges and controversies, and provides a practical and cost-effective approach towards SB bleeding. Expert commentary: SB bleeding is suspected in patients with persistent or recurrent bleeding after negative bidirectional endoscopy, and unexplained iron deficiency anemia. Selection of test(s) should be individualized based upon patient presentation and suspicion for type of underlying lesion. Endoscopic or radiologic evaluation and treatment is the mainstay in the majority of patients, while pharmacologic agents may have a role in patients with refractory bleeding, and those unable to undergo evaluation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1235-1244
Number of pages10
JournalExpert Review of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016


  • CT angiogram
  • CT enterography
  • Small bowel bleeding
  • capsule endoscopy
  • deep enteroscopy
  • double balloon enteroscopy
  • intraoperative enteroscopy
  • mesenteric angiography
  • multiphase CT scan
  • obscure gastrointestinal bleeding
  • single balloon enteroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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