Bleeding Lesion of the Small Bowel: an Extensive Update Leaving No Stone Unturned

  • Cedric Van de Bruaene
  • Pieter Hindryckx
  • Laurens Van de Bruaene
  • Danny De Looze
Small Intestine (D Sachar, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Small Intestine


Purpose of Review

Gastrointestinal bleeding originating from the small bowel (SB) poses a challenge to the treating gastroenterologist. Once diagnosed, management is not a walk in the park either. This review intends to summarize the current state-of-the-art evidence in a complete way with special attention for vascular and ulcerative lesions, to provide the reader with a clinical guide and flow chart towards SB bleeding.

Recent Findings

Absence of SB bleeding lesions on CE does not directly yield better prognosis; although having a lower rebleeding rate the first 2 years, rebleeding in the long term is high. Push enteroscopy can play an early role in patients with SB bleeding if suspicion of angioectasia is high, since these lesions tend to be located in the proximal SB. Endoscopic management of angioectasia is, however, difficult and shows poor results.


Capsule endoscopy (CE) or device-assisted enteroscopy (DAE) remain the diagnostic mainstay in SB bleeding, choosing one over the other based upon patient characteristics and expected lesions.


Small bowel Gastrointestinal bleeding Midgut bleeding Capsule endoscopy Small bowel imaging Endoscopic treatment 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Danny De Looze, Cedric Van de Bruaene, and Laurens Van de Bruaene declare no conflict of interest.

Pieter Hindryckx reports receiving reimbursement for travel accommodations from Y-ECCO; personal fees from Abbvie, Takeda, and Janssen for work as a consultant; personal fees from Ferring as a lecturer; and is a board member of the Yount Flemisch Society of Gastroenterology.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cedric Van de Bruaene
    • 1
  • Pieter Hindryckx
    • 1
  • Laurens Van de Bruaene
    • 2
  • Danny De Looze
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GastroenterologyGhent University HospitalGhentBelgium
  2. 2.Department of Internal MedicineGhent University HospitalGhentBelgium

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