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 22 November 2017

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News

Comparing small bowel radiographs and capsule endoscopy in suspected small bowel disease

In a study published in the October issue of Gastroenterology, researchers find video capsule endoscopy to be superior to small bowel radiograph for the evaluation of small bowel diseases.

News image

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The team of researchers from Rome, Italy, compared the clinical outcomes of small bowel radiographs with the wireless capsule endoscopy.

The study assessed 22 consecutive patients with suspected small bowel disease; 2 were excluded due to ileal stenosis.

The team found the barium follow-through to be normal in 17 patients, and show ileal nodularity in 3 patients.

Conversely, capsule endoscopy was normal in 3 patients and showed positive findings in the remaining 17 patients.

Diagnostic potential in obscure GI bleeding:
- Barium follow-through = 5%
- Capsule endoscopy = 31%
Gastroenterology
The research team considered the barium study to be diagnostic in 20% of patients.

Whereas, the capsule endoscopy was considered diagnostic in 45% of patients, suspicious in 40%, and failed in 15%.

The team found the diagnostic potential of barium follow-through less than that of the capsule endoscopy (5% vs. 31%), for obscure gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding.

They discovered that capsule endoscopy was well tolerated and better accepted by patients, when compared with the most recently performed endoscopic procedure.

In conclusion, Professor Guido Costamagna's team stated that, "The video capsule endoscope was found to be superior to small bowel radiograph for evaluation of small bowel diseases".

"However, this novel wireless endoscope system needs further assessment because of limitations such as difficulties in interpretation of potentially nonspecific findings".

In a related editorial in the same publication, Drs Douglas Faigel and Brian Fennerty discuss the developments of capsule endoscopy and its potential clinical impacts.

In conclusion they comment, "The day may be fast approaching when we cut the umbilical cord and fully embrace wireless endoscopy as the new standard for imaging the GI tract".

Gastroenterology 2002; 123 (4): 999-1005, 1385-7
10 October 2002

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