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, 52 (62), 414-9

Capsule Endoscopy; The Cumulative Experience From Its Use in 193 Patients With Suspected Small Bowel Disease

  • PMID: 15816447

Capsule Endoscopy; The Cumulative Experience From Its Use in 193 Patients With Suspected Small Bowel Disease

N Kalantzis et al. Hepatogastroenterology.


Background/aims: This study presents our cumulative clinical experience from the use of wireless capsule endoscopy (WCE) in a large series of Greek patients with suspected small bowel (SB) diseases.

Methodology: Over an 18-month period, 193 patients were evaluated with WCE for suspected SB diseases [108 obscure gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding, 32 chronic diarrhea, 22 suspected and 6 diagnosed Crohn's disease, 16 abdominal pain, 4 refractory celiac disease, 3 polyposis syndromes, 1 Rendu-Osler-Weber disease and 1 Behcet disease]. All patients had undergone upper GI endoscopy and total colonoscopy. WCE findings were characterized as specific or non-specific, depending on whether the patient's signs and symptoms could be sufficiently attributed to them or not.

Results: One or more abnormal findings were detected in 161/193 (83%) patients; these were classified as specific in 91/193 (47%). The diagnostic yield of WCE (in terms of specific findings) was significantly higher when evaluating patients with obscure GI bleeding, compared to chronic diarrhea (52% vs. 25%, respectively, p=0.013, 95% CI: 1.33-7.83). Among obscure GI bleeders, specific findings were significantly more in the group of overt rather than occult bleeders (66% vs. 42% respectively, p=0.026, 95% CI: 1.19-5.88). In patients referred for diagnosed or suspected Crohn's disease, WCE findings were compatible with the diagnosis in 5/6 cases (83%) and in 8/22 cases (36%), respectively. In 9 more patients from other groups with a negative previous diagnostic work-up, WCE helped in diagnosing Crohn's disease. Among 16 patients evaluated for abdominal pain, specific findings were identified only in 1 (6%).

Conclusions: WCE seems to be a very useful diagnostic tool in the evaluation of GI bleeding of obscure origin (in both overt and occult bleeders), as well as suspected Crohn's disease. In other indications, such as unexplained chronic diarrhea and abdominal pain, it completes the traditional work-up, but abnormal findings need to be better delineated before WCE can be widely recommended in these cases.

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