Comparison of the use of wireless capsule endoscopy with magnetic resonance enterography in children with inflammatory bowel disease

World J Gastroenterol. 2019 Jul 28;25(28):3808-3822. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v25.i28.3808.


Background: Magnetic resonance enterography (MRE) and wireless capsule endoscopy (WCE) are equally accepted modalities for noninvasive screening of small bowel involvement (SBI) in children with Crohn's disease (CD) and indeterminate colitis (IC) albeit there is a paucity of data comparing the two and thereby guiding the clinician in selecting the ideal diagnostic approach. Therefore, the goal of this study is to provide additional evidence for capsule endoscopy role in the evaluation of established Crohn's disease exacerbation compared to MRE in relation to Pediatric Crohn's Disease Activity Index (PCDAI), and histological indices.

Aim: To prospectively compare the findings of MRE and WCE and their agreement with PCDAI or histology in children with CD or IC.

Methods: Consecutive patients diagnosed with CD and IC were screened for inclusion. After informed consent, patient's demographic and clinical data was abstracted. The current pediatric disease activity index (PCDAI) and endoscopic findings were included. Patients underwent MRE and WCE including preprocedural patency capsule within a maximum of 7 d of each other. Pathological presence of active small bowel disease in ileal and duodenal biopsies were collected if the endoscopy was performed within 2 mo of the WCE study. Patients who failed to pass the PC were excluded from the study. WCE was read by two different experienced gastroenterologists (Attard TM and Colombo JM) blinded to each other's findings and to the findings on MRE (Mardis NJ). Agreement between WCE reviewers, WCE and MRE findings and concordance between positive PCDAI and SBI based on MRE compared with WCE was computed.

Results: Forty-five patients were included in the study, 18 withdrew and 27 (20 males and 20 CD), mean age (standard deviation) 13.46 (2.4) years, completed the study protocol. There were no instances of capsule retention. Concordance between gastroenterologist reviewers was excellent for the diagnosis of small intestinal CD with good correlation between the two Lewis scores (r = 0.875, P < 0.001). Concordance between WCE and MRE was poor (69%). In CD patients, when both MRE and WCE were compared using PCDAI > 10 as the standard reference reflecting active small intestinal CD, the sensitivity of MRE and WCE were 100% and 83% respectively and the specificity of MRE and WCE were 57.14% and 78.6%, respectively. If the histology in ileum or/and duodenum was used as the reference for active small bowel involvement, WCE had a higher specificity as compared to MRE (83.3% vs 50%). In patients with Crohn's disease, those with a positive PCDAI (> 10) were more likely to have a positive WCE as compared to those with a negative PCDAI (83% vs 21%; P = 0.018).

Conclusion: We suggest that MRE and WCE have a complementary role in the assessment of SBI in CD. WCE detected SBI with a much higher specificity while MRE had a higher sensitivity.

Keywords: Children; Crohn’s disease; Indeterminate colitis; Inflammatory bowel disease; Magnetic resonance enterography; Pediatric; Small bowel disease; Small bowel involvement; Wireless capsule endoscopy.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Capsule Endoscopy*
  • Child
  • Duodenum / diagnostic imaging*
  • Duodenum / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ileum / diagnostic imaging*
  • Ileum / pathology
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / diagnosis
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / pathology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • United States