Video capsule endoscopy in patients with known or suspected small bowel stricture previously tested with the dissolving patency capsule

J Clin Gastroenterol. 2007 Jul;41(6):576-82. doi: 10.1097/01.mcg.0000225633.14663.64.


Goals: To assess the safety of the Pillcam in patients with known or suspected radiologic stricture, previously tested for small bowel patency using the Given Patency capsule.

Background: Intestinal stricture contributes a major contraindication to video capsule endoscopy (VCE), because of the risk of capsule retention.

Study: Twenty-seven patients (16 female, mean age 44.2 y) with known or suspected intestinal stricture were enrolled prospectively. Twenty-four had Crohn's disease, 2 had adhesive syndrome and 1 had a suspected ischemic stricture. Patients underwent the Patency capsule test. In patients in whom the Patency capsule was excreted intact within 72 hours postingestion without occurrence of any adverse event, VCE was performed to assess the presence of strictures or other gastrointestinal pathologies. The following parameters were evaluated: transit time of Patency capsules and/or tags from ingestion to excretion, condition of the Patency capsule at excretion, transit time of the Pillcam capsule, the ability of Pillcam capsule to detect intestinal strictures and small bowel pathologies, any adverse events.

Results: Twenty-five patients (92.6%) retrieved the Patency capsule in the stools. Six patients complained of abdominal pain, 4 of whom excreted a nonintact capsule. Hospitalization was required in 1 (4.3%) patient with Crohn's disease due to occlusive syndrome. Fifteen patients (65.3%) excreted an intact Patency capsule after a mean transit time of 25.6 hours without any adverse events. These 15 patients underwent the VCE successfully.

Conclusions: Passage of an intact Patency capsule across a small bowel stricture provides direct evidence of functional patency of the gut lumen and allows a safe VCE. Intestinal strictures should not be considered an absolute contraindication for VCE.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Capsule Endoscopes*
  • Constriction, Pathologic
  • Contraindications
  • Crohn Disease / diagnosis*
  • Crohn Disease / pathology
  • Equipment Design
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intestine, Small / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Time Factors