The diagnostic accuracy of esophageal capsule endoscopy in patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease and Barrett's esophagus: a blinded, prospective study

Am J Gastroenterol. 2008 Mar;103(3):525-32. doi: 10.1111/j.1572-0241.2007.01233.x. Epub 2007 Apr 24.


Background: Esophageal capsule endoscopy (ECE) is a novel technique that offers noninvasive evaluation of esophageal pathology in gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) patients.

Objective: To assess the diagnostic accuracy of ECE for Barrett's esophagus (BE), erosive esophagitis, and hiatal hernia and to assess the safety profile of ECE.

Methods: Patients with GERD symptoms and those undergoing BE surveillance were prospectively enrolled. All patients underwent ECE followed by standard upper endoscopy. ECE findings were interpreted by examiners blinded to endoscopy results. The gold standard was the findings at endoscopy and ECE results were compared with those at endoscopy.

Results: One hundred patients were enrolled of which 94 completed the study. At upper endoscopy, BE was suspected in 53 (mean length 3.1 cm) and confirmed in 45 patients. Erosive esophagitis and hiatal hernia were identified in 18 and 70 patients, respectively. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), and negative predictive value (NPV) of ECE for BE in GERD patients were 67%, 87%, 60%, and 90%, respectively. The sensitivity, specificity, PPV, and NPV of ECE for BE patients undergoing surveillance were 79%, 78%, 94%, and 44%, respectively. The sensitivity, specificity, PPV, and NPV for erosive esophagitis were 50%, 90%, 56%, and 88% and for hiatal hernia were 54%, 67%, 83%, and 33%, respectively.

Conclusions: Current diagnostic rates of ECE for BE are not yet accurate enough for application in clinical practice. An improvement in technology and learning curve assessments are required, until then standard upper endoscopy remains the gold standard.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Barrett Esophagus / diagnosis*
  • Capsule Endoscopy*
  • Esophagitis / diagnosis
  • Esophagoscopy
  • Female
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / diagnosis*
  • Hernia, Hiatal / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Single-Blind Method