Crohn’s disease (CD) is a complex disorder with variable age of onset, disease location and behavior. It is characterized by a transmural inflammation that may involve any portion of the gastrointestinal tract. Ileocolonoscopy with biopsy is established as the first-line investigation for suspected CD. However, small bowel involvement is more difficult to assess by conventional endoscopy. Therefore, radiological imaging should also be performed to complement ileocolonoscopy in all patients with suspected CD. Recently, video capsule endoscopy and device-assisted enteroscopy have revolutionized the management of small bowel CD. In fact, video capsule endoscopy is a non-invasive test that provides the visualization of the entire small bowel mucosa, which can assist in the diagnosis of CD and assess the therapeutic response. On the other hand, device-assisted enteroscopy enables direct tissue sampling for histopathology confirmation when traditional endoscopy, video capsule endoscopy and cross-sectional imaging are inconclusive. Moreover, it allows therapeutic interventions such as balloon stricture dilation. In this chapter, we review the role of endoscopy in the diagnosis and management of patients with small bowel CD.
Part of the book: Endoscopy in Small Bowel Diseases