Background: Terminal ileum intubation rates at colonoscopy are variable. One of the major indications for terminal ileum intubation is to identify Crohn's disease. Signs and symptoms which raise a suspicion of Crohn's include abdominal pain/bloating, anaemia and diarrhoea. Aim: To determine the proportion of terminal ileal intubation in patients undergoing evaluation of abdominal pain/bloating, anaemia or diarrhoea with normal endoscopic findings at colonoscopy. Methods: The Clinical Outcomes Research Initiative national endoscopic database was analysed to determine the proportion of terminal ileum intubation in patients undergoing evaluation of either abdominal pain/bloating, anaemia or diarrhoea with normal endoscopic findings at colonoscopy and to characterize this population of patients. Patients with known or suspected inflammatory bowel disease were excluded from the analysis. Results: Between January 2000 and December 2003, 21 638 patients underwent complete colonoscopy for evaluation of either abdominal pain/bloating, anaemia or diarrhoea with normal colon findings. Overall, 3858 patients (18%) underwent terminal ileum evaluation. Intubation rates differed according to procedure indication: abdominal pain (13%), anaemia (13%), diarrhoea (28%). Terminal ileum assessment declined with advancing patient age and was least frequent in Black patients (12% vs. 18% in non-Blacks, P < 0.0001). Heal intubation rates also varied among endoscopy site types: community (17%), academic (21%), Veterans Affairs Medical Centres (17%), P < 0.0001. Multiple logistic regression identified patients with the indication of diarrhoea (OR: 2.58) as more likely to undergo terminal ileum intubation when compared with those with abdominal pain/bloating. Patients in Veterans Affairs (OR: 1.26) and academic (OR: 1.29) sites were more likely to undergo terminal ileum intubation compared with community sites. Conclusion: Less than one-fifth of patients with either abdominal pain/bloating, anaemia or diarrhoea underwent ileal intubation in the setting of a normal colonoscopy. Significant practice variation was observed in rates of terminal ileum evaluation. Further study is required to determine whether terminal ileum examination impacts patient management or outcome.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)