Capsule endoscopy is a new procedure for small-bowel imaging.
The potential contribution of this method to the diagnosis and staging of gastrointestinal lymphomas has not yet been evaluated.
Dr Flieger and colleagues from Germany conducted a prospective study.
The research team assessed the frequency and morphology of different forms of intestinal pathology in patients with gastrointestinal lymphomas.
Commercially available capsule video endoscopes were administered to 27 patients, of which 16 were men and 11 were women, aged 27 to 77.
The patients had known gastrointestinal lymphomas.
Capsule endoscopy was also carried out in 30 control individuals.
All 7 patients with primary intestinal lymphomas who were examined were found to have pathological findings on capsule endoscopy.
The team noted that 4 patients had ulcerations, 4 with nodes, 3 with villous atrophy, and 1 with plaques/white villi.
The researchers found that 1 patient with severe diarrhea was examined 3 times before and after chemotherapy.
The team observed that the lesions improved, as well as resolution of diarrhea.
There were 20 patients with gastric lymphoma examined, of which 16 had low-grade and 4 with high-grade B cell lymphomas.
The capsule did not leave the stomach in 3 patients, suggesting impaired motility.
The research team found that the small-bowel transit times were 261 min for intestinal lymphoma, and 245 min for gastric lymphoma.
The small-bowel transit times for controls were 224 min.
There were pathological findings in the intestine in 5 of the 20 patients with gastric lymphoma.
Of these, the team noted that 3 had plaques/white villi, 2 had nodes, and 2 presented with villous atrophy.
In 2 patients, subsequent biopsies revealed secondary follicular lymphoma and high-grade lymphoma, respectively.
Dr Flieger's team commented, “Capsule endoscopy is a valuable diagnostic tool for defining the extent of bowel involvement and assessing the efficacy of treatment in patients with gastrointestinal lymphoma.”