Potential screening benefit of a colorectal imaging capsule that does not require bowel preparation

J Clin Gastroenterol. 2014 Jan;48(1):52-4. doi: 10.1097/MCG.0b013e318288a2cd.


Introduction: Check-Cap is a capsule device that images the colon using low-dose radiation (total dose equivalent to a plain abdominal radiograph) and does not require bowel preparation. Check-Cap is in development for colorectal cancer imaging.

Aim: : To survey patients in a primary care setting for their preferences for Check-Cap versus fecal occult blood testing (FOBT), including among patients who decline colonoscopy.

Methods: Patients aged 50 and older presenting to the general medicine and family practice clinics of Indiana University Health sites within a 3-month period were approached during clinic visits. A total of 502 patients who agreed to participate were given the opportunity to complete an anonymous survey (Supplementary Appendix 1, http://links.lww.com/JCG/A71) regarding their preferences for colon cancer screening. The survey presented procedure descriptions and projected accuracies for colonoscopy, FOBT, and Check-Cap. For Check-Cap, projected sensitivity was 80% for cancer and 50% for large polyps.

Results: The mean age of the subjects was 61.6 years, 39% were males, 44% white, 62% of patients had prior colonoscopy, and 26% had prior polypectomy. We defined 3 groups of patients-those that had never had a colonoscopy (NC)-38%, those who had a colonoscopy but no polypectomy (CNP)-36%, and those who had a colonoscopy and polypectomy (CP)-26%. Overall, 284 patients (57%) were willing to undergo a future colonoscopy. Patients with prior colonoscopy and polypectomy were more willing to get another colonoscopy than the other 2 groups (CP:CNP:NC=78%:64%:38%; P<0.0001). Willingness to undergo colonoscopy decreased with age in all the 3 groups. Among those not willing to undergo colonoscopy, 30% were willing to undergo Check-Cap, 20% were willing for FOBT), 25% were willing to do both, and 24% were not willing for either test. Among those who declined future colonoscopy, 40% reported Check-Cap as their preferred screening test versus 22% for FOBT; P=0.0002.

Conclusion: Our survey suggests that an imaging capsule like Check-Cap could contribute to screening adherence among patients who decline colonoscopy, provided that it can achieve projected sensitivities of 80% for cancer and 50% for large polyps.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Capsules
  • Colonoscopy / methods*
  • Colonoscopy / psychology
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Data Collection
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Indiana
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Mass Screening / psychology
  • Middle Aged
  • Occult Blood
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Patient Compliance
  • Patient Preference
  • Primary Health Care
  • Radiography / methods*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Capsules