Capsule endoscopy - Recent developments and future directions

Expert Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2021 Feb;15(2):127-137. doi: 10.1080/17474124.2021.1840351. Epub 2020 Nov 3.


Introduction: Capsule endoscopy (CE) is an established modality in the diagnostic algorithm of small bowel (SB) pathology. Its use has expanded for investigation of upper and lower gastrointestinal diseases with similar prototypes.

Areas covered: This review covers the role and recent advances of CE, as a non-invasive investigative tool.

Expert opinion: The use of upper gastrointestinal CE is useful in patients who require surveillance for varices particularly in the current era of the COVID-19 pandemic. It has also shown high accuracy in the detection of upper gastrointestinal hemorrhage in patients presenting with a suspicion of hemorrhage. Findings on CE help to guide further management by device-assisted enteroscopy. The data on colon CE suggest comparable diagnostic accuracy to colonoscopy for polyp detection; however, more evidence is required in the high-risk group. Crohn's CE has become an integral part of the management of patients with Crohn's disease offering a comparative assessment tool post escalation of therapy. Artificial intelligence within CE has demonstrated similar if not better diagnostic yield compared to the human with a significantly shorter reading time. Artificial intelligence is likely to be in-built within CE reading platforms over the next few years minimizing reporting time and human error.

Keywords: Crohn’s capsule endoscopy; Small-bowel capsule endoscopy; artificial intelligence; colon capsule endoscopy; magnetically controlled upper gastrointestinal capsule.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19 / complications
  • COVID-19 / epidemiology*
  • COVID-19 / prevention & control
  • Capsule Endoscopy* / instrumentation
  • Capsule Endoscopy* / methods
  • Capsule Endoscopy* / trends
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / etiology
  • Humans