Introduction: Until the introduction of capsule endoscopy (CE), studies of gastrointestinal transit times were based on indirect data or data obtained with radiographic techniques. We analyzed gastric and intestinal transit times through the images obtained with EC and evaluated the influence of age, sex, body mass index (BMI) and abdominal perimeter on these times.
Patients and method: Of the total number of procedures performed over one year, we reviewed 89 in which CE reached the blind gut. Transit times through the pylorus and the ileocecal valve, as well as a series of clinical and epidemiological characteristics of the patients, were recorded.
Results: The mean age of the patients was 59.2 years with a mean BMI of 25.5. Gastric transit times ranged from 0.7 to 171 min (mean 22.6) while small intestine transit times ranged from 91 to 416 min (mean 283.3). No significant associations were found between gastric and intestinal transit times with age, sex, BMI, or abdominal perimeter. A significant negative correlation (p < 0.05) was found between transit time of CE through the stomach with respect to the time taken between the pylorus and the cecal pole.
Conclusion: CE is a good method to study gastrointestinal transit times directly and could lead to greater knowledge of the pathogenesis of various gastrointestinal entities. Age, sex and nutritional status do not seem to influence intestinal kinetics. In contrast, longer or shorter gastric emptying times have an inverse effect on the transit of CE through the small intestine.