AIM: To evaluate the safety, efficacy and management of double balloon enteroscopy (DBE) carried out in those aged individuals with suspicious small intestine diseases.
METHODS: DBE is a wonderful invention of the past decade and is widely used as an examination tool for the gastrointestinal tract. From January 2003 to July 2011, data from patients who were ≥ 65 years old and underwent DBE examination in the Nanfang Hospital were included in a retrospective analysis.
RESULTS: Fifty-nine individuals were found and subsequently analyzed. The mean age was 69.63 ± 3.89 years (range 65-84), 34 were males. Indications for DBE were melena/hematochezia (36 cases), abdominal pain (15 cases), diarrhea (3 cases), stool change (1 case), weight loss (1 case), vomiting (2 cases), and debilitation (1 case). The average duration of symptoms was 33.34 ± 64.24 mo. Twenty-seven patients suffered from age-related diseases. Severe complications were not found during and after DBE. Comparison between systolic and diastolic blood pressure before and after DBE was statistically significant (mean ± SD, P < 0.01, P < 0.05, respectively). Small bowel pathologies were found by DBE in 35 patients, definite diagnoses were made in 31 cases, and detection rate and diagnostic yield for DBE were 68.6% and 60.8%, respectively.
CONCLUSION: DBE is a safe and effective method for gastrointestinal examination in the aged population. Aging alone is not a risk factor for elderly patients with suspicious gastrointestinal diseases and thorough preparation prior to the DBE procedure should be made for individuals with multiple diseases especially cardiopulmonary disorders.