Background and study aims: Double-balloon enteroscopy (DBE) is the first choice endoscopic technique for small-bowel visualization. However, preparation and handling of the double-balloon enteroscope is complex. Recently, a single-balloon enteroscopy (SBE) system has been introduced as being a simplified, less-complex balloon-assisted enteroscopy system.Patients and methods: This study was a randomized international multicenter trial comparing two balloon-assisted enteroscopy systems: DBE vs. SBE. Consecutive patients referred for balloon-assisted enteroscopy were randomized to either DBE or SBE. Patients were blinded with regard to the type of instrument used. The primary study outcome was oral insertion depth. Secondary outcomes included complete small-bowel visualization, anal insertion depth, patient discomfort, and adverse events. Patient discomfort during and after the procedure was scored using a visual analog scale. Results: A total of 130 patients were included over 12 months: 65 with DBE and 65 with the SBE technique. Patient and procedure characteristics were comparable between the two groups. Mean oral intubation depth was 253 cm with DBE and 258 cm with SBE, showing noninferiority of SBE vs. DBE. Complete visualization of the small bowel was achieved in 18% and 11% of procedures in the DBE and SBE groups, respectively. Mean anal intubation depth was 107 cm in the DBE group and 118 cm in the SBE group. Diagnostic yield and mean pain scores during and after the procedures were similar in the two groups. No adverse events were observed during or after the examinations.Conclusions: This head-to-head comparison study shows that DBE and SBE have a comparable performance and diagnostic yield for evaluation of the small bowel.,
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Domagk, D., Mensink, P., Aktas, H., Lenz, P., Meister, T., Luegering, A., … Bretthauer, M. (2011). Single- vs. double-balloon enteroscopy in small-bowel diagnostics: A randomized multicenter trial. Endoscopy, 43(6), 472–476. doi:10.1055/s-0030-1256247