The small bowel has historically been a difficult area to examine due to its anatomy, location and relative tortuosity. Examination beyond the duodenojejunal flexure is of importance in a number of small bowel disorders. Before the advent of enteroscopy or capsule endoscopy, radiographic studies had been the main investigative modality of the small bowel. Barium follow-through and enteroclysis permits indirect examination of the small bowel but has a low diagnostic yield particularly in the context of obscure gastrointestinal bleeding.

Capsule endoscopy and enteroscopy are now the preferred methods to examine the small bowel in most situations. These guidelines are intended to provide an evidence based document describing endoscopic investigation of small bowel disorders.