Background: A video capsule has been developed to acquire photographic images of the small intestine during normal peristaltic motion.
Methods: Patients between 21 and 80 years of age referred for enteroscopy because of obscure GI bleeding were offered entry into a trial in which they would undergo both capsule endoscopy and subsequent push enteroscopy. Results of capsule examinations were compared with push enteroscopy findings. Capsule endoscopy was performed with the Given M2A video capsule system.
Results: Twenty-one patients (12 women, 9 men, average age 61 years) were enrolled, all of whom completed the study. A bleeding site was found in 11 of 20 patients during capsule endoscopy. No additional intestinal diagnoses were made by enteroscopy. The yield of push enteroscopy in the evaluation of obscure bleeding was 30% (6/20), the yield of capsule endoscopy 55% (11/20). This difference did not reach statistical significance (p = 0.0625). Capsule endoscopy found a distal source of bleeding in 5 of 14 patients who had normal push enteroscopic examinations. Patients preferred capsule endoscopy to enteroscopy.
Conclusions: This pilot study demonstrates that capsule endoscopy provides excellent visualization of the small intestine, is well tolerated by patients, and is safe. Capsule endoscopy identified small intestinal bleeding sites beyond the range of push enteroscopy.