Live view video capsule endoscopy enables risk stratification of patients with acute upper GI bleeding in the emergency room: a pilot study

Dig Dis Sci. 2011 Mar;56(3):786-91. doi: 10.1007/s10620-010-1336-9. Epub 2010 Jul 15.


Background: Risk stratification of patients with acute upper GI bleeding (UGIB) in the emergency room (ER) enables appropriate triage to urgent endoscopy and therapeutic intervention.

Aim: The aim of this study was to evaluate the ability of Live View Video Capsule Endoscopy (VCE) with Pillcam Eso(®) to accurately identify high and low risk patients with UGIB.

Methods: Twenty-four patients with a history of UGIB within 48 h of admission to the ER were randomized to VCE versus standard clinical assessment. VCE was read real-time at the bedside and later reviewed after download. Positive VCE findings included coffee grounds, blood clot, red blood, or a bleeding lesion. VCE positive patients underwent EGD within 6 h. Control patients and VCE negative patients underwent EGD within 24 h.

Results: Seven of 12 patients were VCE positive. All seven had confirmatory stigmata at EGD. Of the five VCE negative patients, four had no stigmata at EGD and one was not endoscoped due to comorbidities. The actual lesion was visualized at VCE in four of 12 patients during live view and in an additional two patients after download (6/12). Time to endoscopy in the VCE positive group was significantly shorter than control patients (2.5 vs. 8.9 h, P = 0.029). There was no mortality. Blood transfusion requirement and length of stay were not significantly different in the two groups.

Conclusions: Live view VCE accurately identifies high and low risk ER patients with UGIB. Use of VCE to risk stratify these patients significantly reduced time to emergent EGD and therapeutic intervention.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Aged
  • Capsule Endoscopy / methods*
  • Emergency Medical Services / methods*
  • Endoscopy, Digestive System / instrumentation*
  • Endoscopy, Digestive System / methods*
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Risk
  • Triage
  • Upper Gastrointestinal Tract