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In this issue of Gut, Thienpont and colleagues1 (see page 320) present one of the largest reported studies to date with the longest follow-up, evaluating the technique of endoscopic balloon dilatation of symptomatic Crohn's disease strictures. The authors should be commended for, first, technically refining this endoscopic technique which is increasingly being used in patients with Crohn's disease and, second, providing this very relevant longer term data that allows an assessment of its safety and success. Without a doubt, balloon dilatation of Crohn's disease strictures is becoming another valuable tool in the armamentarium of the clinician caring for the patient with Crohn's disease.
The authors report on 138 patients undergoing 237 dilatations with a mean 5.8-year follow-up. Forty-four per cent of patients required no further therapy during the follow-up period, but 46% required further dilatation and 24% required surgery. The serious complication rate based on patients treated was 12/138 or …
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