Usefulness of capsule endoscopy in patients with suspected small bowel disease

Rev Esp Enferm Dig. 2004 Jan;96(1):10-21. doi: 10.4321/s1130-01082004000100003.
[Article in English, Spanish]


Aim: To study the usefulness and safety of capsule endoscopy as a diagnostic tool in various small bowel disorders.

Design: A retrospective analysis of a series of cases.

Material and methods: Between August 2001 and August 2002, 92 capsule endoscopy procedures were performed in 88 patients (53M/39F, age: 43.87 +/- 16.78). Indications included: chronic diarrhea (n=33); unknown abdominal pain (n=29); occult gastrointestinal bleeding or iron-deficiency anemia (n=13); abdominal discomfort in NSAID takers (n=7); staging of gastrointestinal tumors (n=4), and asymptomatic controls (n=2). Previously performed gastroscopy, colonoscopy, and small-bowel follow-through were not conclusive in all patients.

Results: Most frequently relevant findings included: jejuno-ileal aphtas and ulcerations (29 patients), vascular malformations (13 patients), and intestinal neoplasm (6 patients). The groups with a higher rate of findings related to this indication were occult gastrointestinal bleeding (76.92%) and chronic diarrhea (67.85%), with the lowest rate in the abdominal pain group (34.48%). Therapeutic strategy was directly changed in 36 of 88 patients (40.90%) because of capsule-endoscopic findings. The only observed complication was the failed excretion of one of the capsules because of an unknown ulcerated intestinal stricture.

Conclusions: Capsule endoscopy is a safe procedure which can study the entire small bowel, meaning a valuable tool for the management of patients with suggestive signs and symptoms of intestinal disorders.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Capsules
  • Child
  • Endoscopes, Gastrointestinal*
  • Endoscopy, Gastrointestinal / adverse effects
  • Endoscopy, Gastrointestinal / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Intestine, Small / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Photography
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Safety


  • Capsules