Negative capsule endoscopy without subsequent enteroscopy does not predict lower long-term rebleeding rates in patients with obscure GI bleeding

Gastrointest Endosc. 2010 May;71(6):990-7. doi: 10.1016/j.gie.2009.12.009. Epub 2010 Mar 20.


Background: Capsule endoscopy (CE) is now widely accepted as a first-line diagnostic modality for obscure GI bleeding (OGIB). However, the clinical implications of negative results of CE studies remain unclear.

Objective: To investigate long-term (>1 year) outcomes for patients undergoing CE for OGIB and to identify risk factors associated with rebleeding.

Design and setting: Retrospective study in a tertiary care hospital.

Methods: A total of 57 consecutive patients who had undergone CE for OGIB were enrolled and their pre- and post-CE clinical data were collected. Specific treatments were defined as treatments directly aimed at presumed bleeding causes including hemostasis and disease-specific medical therapy, whereas nonspecific treatments were defined as symptomatic treatments for anemia.

Results: Of the 57 patients, the indication for CE was obscure-overt bleeding in 46 patients and obscure-occult bleeding in 11 patients. Among 51 patients for whom long-term data were available, significant (P2) lesions were found in 23 (45.1%) patients. The overall rebleeding rate was 35.3% during a median follow-up duration of 31.7 months (range 12.8-58.0 months). There was no statistically significant difference in the cumulative rebleeding rate between patients with positive and negative CE results (34.8% vs 35.7%, respectively; P = .989). However, specific treatments after CE (hazard ratio, 0.111; 95% CI, 0.013-0.980; P = .043) significantly decreased rebleeding.

Limitations: Small number of patients, retrospective study design.

Conclusions: The rebleeding rate for patients with OGIB and negative CE results was substantial, indicating that these patients should be closely observed. However, specific treatment after CE significantly reduced the incidence of recurrent bleeding.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Capsule Endoscopy*
  • Endoscopy, Gastrointestinal
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Recurrence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors