Background and study aims: The aim of the present study was to assess the value of capsule endoscopy in the diagnostic work-up of patients in whom there is a clinical suspicion of small bowel Crohn's disease that cannot be confirmed using traditional techniques.
Patients and methods: A total of 21 patients (14 men, seven women; mean age 43 +/- 8 years) with a clinical and biochemical suspicion of Crohn's disease were included in the study. Conventional imaging work-up, including upper and lower endoscopy, as well as a small-bowel follow-through, was carried out in all of the patients.
Results: Pathological findings were not observed in 12 of the 21 patients (57 %). In the other nine patients (43 %), lesions supporting the diagnosis of Crohn's disease were seen. The most frequent findings were located in the distal ileum and included aphthae, lineal and serpiginous ulcers, and fissures. Four patients had lesions in the jejunum. One patient showed erosions in the distal duodenum, jejunum, and ileum. No adverse effects of the technique were observed in any of the patients.
Conclusions: Capsule endoscopy is a valuable diagnostic tool in patients with suspected Crohn's disease that has not been confirmed using standard imaging techniques.