Tubercular versus Crohn's ileal strictures: role of endoscopic balloon dilatation without fluoroscopy

Authors Surinder Singh Rana, Deepak Kumar Bhasin, Chalapathi Rao, Kartar Singh.


Background Benign ileal strictures can cause considerable morbidity and they have been conventionally treated with surgery. The aim of this study was to report our experience of endoscopic balloon dilatation (EBD) in patients with terminal ileal strictures because of Crohn's disease and tuberculosis.

Methods Over the last 8 years, 9 patients (6 males; mean age 39.7±13.2 years) with benign terminal ileal strictures were treated by EBD using a colonoscope and through-the-scope controlled radial expansion balloon dilators.

Results The etiology of benign ileal stricture was Crohn's disease in 5 and tuberculosis in 4 patients. All the patients with Crohn's disease had no or partial response to 4 weeks of steroid therapy and there were no mucosal ulcerations on ileoscopy. Three patients with ileal strictures due to tuberculosis underwent dilatation after completion of the antitubercular therapy (ATT) while one patient required dilatation 3 months after starting ATT. All patients had single ileal stricture with length of stricture ranging from 0.6-1.8 cm. EBD was successful in all 9 patients with a median number of dilating sessions required of 2 (range: 1-5 sessions). Patients with Crohn's disease required more endoscopic sessions as compared to patients with tuberculosis but this difference was not statistically significant (mean number of session being 3.0±1.58 vs. 1.75±0.5 sessions respectively; P=0.1). One patient with ileal tuberculosis had enterolith proximal to the stricture that could be removed with dormia. There were no complications of the endoscopic procedure.

Conclusions EBD is an effective, safe, and minimally invasive treatment modality for benign ileal strictures.

Keywords Tuberculosis, Crohn's disease, balloon dilatation, steroids, enteroclysis

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