A case of asymptomatic aspiration of a capsule endoscope with a successful resolution

Gut Liver. 2010 Mar;4(1):114-6. doi: 10.5009/gnl.2010.4.1.114. Epub 2010 Mar 26.


Aspiration is a very rare complication of capsule endoscopy, but it is potentially life-threatening and should be considered an emergency requiring immediate intervention since it can evolve into major airway compromise and obstructive pneumonitis. We experienced a case of asymptomatic aspiration of a capsule in a 75-year-old man. The aspirated capsule was diagnosed on routine chest and abdomen X-rays to confirm its position after ingestion. The capsule was removed via bronchoscopy using a net, without sequelae, after inducing the patient to cough. To prevent this complication, a thorough history of swallowing disorders is needed before capsule ingestion, and patients with swallowing difficulties should have the capsule placed in the duodenum endoscopically. Moreover, on capsule aspiration, cough induction is the most effective method of capsule removal.

Keywords: Aspiration; Capsule endoscopy; Cough.