Capsule endoscopy in pediatric patients: technique and results in our first 100 consecutive children

Scand J Gastroenterol. 2011 Sep;46(9):1138-43. doi: 10.3109/00365521.2011.584900. Epub 2011 May 26.


Objective: Capsule endoscopy (CE) offers noninvasive methods to assess small bowel pathology but only limited data are available on the feasibility, safety, and findings in children. In this study, we report our results of 100 consecutive CE in children.

Material and methods: Single center retrospective study. All pediatric patients (mean age 119 months, range from 8 to 188 months) undergoing CE were included until 100 investigations were completed. The indications for CE were: suspicion or evaluation of Crohn's disease (n = 35) or ulcerative colitis (n = 24), gastrointestinal bleeding (n = 18), and miscellaneous (n = 23).

Results: The youngest patients able to swallow the capsule were 84 months old. When the patient was unable to swallow the capsule (n = 51), it was guided into the duodenum with endoscope. In two patients, the capsule remained in the stomach during the 8 h of recording and in 23 cases the capsule failed to reach the cecum. The capsule was expelled naturally in all except one patient. In 39% of the patients, CE revealed a significant finding (multiple ulcers, bleeding, tumors, strictures). In patients examined for bleeding or for a suspicion of Crohn's disease, the respective proportions were 50% and 60%.

Conclusions: This study shows that CE is a feasible diagnostic method to study the small intestine in pediatric patients and that CE can be done in children as young as 8 months old. The diagnostic yield is highest in cases with bleeding or a high suspicion of Crohn's disease.

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Pain / etiology
  • Adolescent
  • Capsule Endoscopy* / adverse effects
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / diagnosis*
  • Crohn Disease / diagnosis*
  • Diarrhea / etiology
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / diagnosis
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / etiology*
  • Gastrointestinal Transit
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Nausea / etiology
  • Retrospective Studies