Journal of Gastroenterology
Capsule endoscopy is recognized as an important tool for investigating gastrointestinal diseases and conditions, including obscure gastrointestinal bleeding, suspected small bowel Crohn's disease, polyposis syndromes, and small bowel tumors. It involves a minimally invasive examination of the entire small bowel via an ingested capsule containing a camera. The indwelling camera takes images at a rate of two frames per second as peristalsis carries the capsule through the gastrointestinal tract. The average transit time from ingestion to evacuation is 24 hours. The device uses wireless radio transmission to send the images to a receiving recorder device that the patient wears around his or her waist. Images are then downloaded onto a workstation for viewing and processing.
The diagnostic value of capsule endoscopy, however, has been hampered by two limitations. First, the presence of impure intestinal juice or air bubbles can influence the diagnosis by impairing visualization of the intestinal mucosa. Second, limited battery life span can prevent completion of the small bowel examination. The bowel preparation recommended by the capsule manufacturer is a 12-hour fast, but some studies have found that various other bowel preparations can result in higher quality images. Since these studies are extremely heterogeneous because of the different preparations used and because most are nonrandomized, this prospective, randomized controlled study was...