Timing of video capsule endoscopy relative to overt obscure GI bleeding: implications from a retrospective study

Gastrointest Endosc. 2013 May;77(5):761-6. doi: 10.1016/j.gie.2012.11.041. Epub 2013 Feb 1.


Background: Diagnostic yield of video capsule endoscopy (VCE) may be higher if it is performed closer to the time of overt obscure GI bleeding (OOGIB).

Objective: To evaluate the diagnostic yield of VCE and rate of therapeutic intervention for OOGIB for inpatients and outpatients with respect to timing of the intervention.

Design: Retrospective cohort study.

Setting: Tertiary academic center.

Patients: Patients who had VCE for OOGIB between August 2008 and August 2010.

Interventions: VCE for inpatients versus outpatients.

Main outcome measures: Diagnostic yield and rate of therapeutic intervention for inpatients versus outpatients.

Results: One hundred forty-four inpatients (65 women) and 116 outpatients (49 women) were included. Diagnostic yield was 65.9% for inpatients versus 53.4% for outpatients (P = .054). Inpatients were divided into those who had VCE within 3 days (<3 days; n = 90) of admission versus after 3 days (>3 days; n = 54). Active bleeding and/or an angioectasia was found in 44.4% of the <3-day group compared with 27.8% of the >3-day group (P = .046) versus 25.8% of the outpatients. Therapeutic intervention was performed in 18.9% of the <3-day group versus 7.4% of the >3-day group (P = .046) versus 10.3% of outpatients. Diagnostic yield and therapeutic intervention rate between the >3-day group and outpatients were not significantly different. Length of stay (days) was less in the <3-day cohort, at 6.1 versus 10.3 in the >3-day cohort (P < .0001).

Limitations: Long-term outcomes were not studied. This was a retrospective study.

Conclusions: Early deployment of VCE within 3 days of admission results in a higher diagnostic yield and therapeutic intervention rate and an associated reduction of length of stay.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Ambulatory Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Capsule Endoscopy*
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / diagnosis*
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / etiology*
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / surgery
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Time Factors
  • Vascular Malformations / complications
  • Vascular Malformations / diagnosis