Capsule endoscopy


Utilizes a 11×26 mm color camera in a capsule with light sources, radio transmitter and battery to travel the length of the gastrointestinal tract taking 2 images per second of the intestinal lumen.

A procedure used to record internal images of the gastrointestinal tract for use in medical diagnosis.

The capsule is similar in shape to a standard drug capsule, although a little larger.

The capsule contains a tiny camera and an array of LEDs powered by a battery.

The pill is swallowed, and as it passes along the gastrointestinal tract it takes a number of images per second which are transmitted wirelessly to an array of receivers connected to a portable recording device carried by the patient.

Its primary use is to examine areas of the small intestine that cannot be seen by other types of endoscopy such as colonoscopy or esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD).

Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD), and colonoscopy cannot visualize the majority of the middle portion of the small intestine.

Capsule endoscopy is used to examine parts of the gastrointestinal tract that cannot be seen with other types of endoscopy.

It is useful when disease is suspected in the small intestine.

Sometimes can be used to find the site of gastrointestinal bleeding or the cause of unexplained abdominal pain, such as Crohn’s disease.

Common reasons for using capsule endoscopy include diagnosis of unexplained bleeding, iron deficiency, or abdominal pain, searching for polyps, ulcers and tumors of small intestine, and diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease.

A portable data recorder receives images which are downloaded to a computer for evaluation.

The capsule is passed through the stool.

The images collected by the miniature camera are transferred wirelessly to an external receiver worn by the patient.

The collected images are then transferred to a computer for display, review and diagnosis.

The transmitted radio-frequency signal can be used to accurately estimate the location of the capsule and to track it in real time inside the body and gastrointestinal tract.

Considered to be a very safe method to determine an unknown cause of a gastrointestinal bleed.

A limitation of capsule colonoscopy screening is that it requires extensive bowel preparation to be able to evaluate the mucosa completely.
Risks of capsule colonoscopy are few but include the risk of bowel preparation and electrolyte abnormalities, choking on the capsule, aspiration of the capsule, and the development of retained capsule due to narrowing anywhere in the gastrointestinal tract.

The capsule is usually excreted with the feces within 24–48 hours.

In a review of 22,840 cases, the capsule was retained 1.4% of the time.

Capsule retention is most common with Crohn’s disease.

Retained capsules can be removed surgically.

Contraindicated with the presence of cardiac pacemakers, defibrillators, inflammatory bowel disease, stricture and possibly the presence of an obstructing tumor.

Not a first line diagnostic tool.

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