Background and study aims: This study was designed to prospectively compare the diagnostic yield of the M2A endoscopic capsule with that of video push-enteroscopy in exploring the small intestine in patients with obscure digestive bleeding.
Patients and methods: Patients with either occult or overt obscure digestive bleeding and a negative endoscopic work-up underwent a double intestinal investigation, with video push-enteroscopy and a wireless capsule, performed blindly by separate examiners. The diagnostic yield for each technique was defined as the frequency of detection of clinically relevant intestinal lesions, i. e. those having the potential for bleeding.
Results: 60 patients (27 men, 33 women; age 58 +/- 18 years; hemoglobin 9.4 +/- 2.5 g/dl) were included, 32 with occult and 28 with overt bleeding. Results were analyzed for 58 patients, who completed both examinations. Lesions were detected in 43 patients: with both techniques in 19, only by capsule in 21, and, conversely, only by push-enteroscopy in 3 ( P = 0.04). Final diagnoses were as follows: a P2 lesion with high bleeding potential in 28 patients (19 angiomata, 6 ulcerations, 2 tumors, 1 case of intestinal varices); a P1 lesion with intermediate bleeding potential in 15 patients (2 patients with mucosal erosions, 13 patients with mucosal red spots); and there were normal findings from 15 procedures. No procedure induced any complication.
Conclusion: The use of the wireless endoscopy capsule detects significantly more clinically relevant intestinal lesions than video push-enteroscopy in patients with obscure digestive bleeding, raising the diagnostic yield to 67.2 %. Its influence on the clinical outcome for patients needs further investigation.