Capsule endoscopy aids in detection of small bowel tumors inaccessible to other diagnostic tests

10/26/04

ORLANDO (November 1, 2004)--Researchers have found capsule endoscopies can be effective in detecting tumors in the small bowel that previously went undetected. According to a study released today at the 69th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology, researchers from the Mt. Sinai Medical Center and the University of Miami School of Medicine found the capsule endosocopy detected tumors in the small bowel after patients had undergone an average of 4.6 negative evaluations. Of the tumors found, 65 percent were malignant.

The researchers studied 72 patients with confirmed small bowel tumors. Of those patients, 71 percent experienced gastrointestinal bleeding of an obscure source, and 29 percent suffered from anemia, polyposis and/or abdominal pain. These 72 patients had previously undergone 334 negative procedures (an average of 4.6 each) including 115 colonoscopies, 111 upper endoscopies, 32 small bowel follow through procedures, 24 enteroscopies, 17 CT scans, 16 enteroclysis procedures, six nuclear bleeding scans, five angiographies, five plain abdominal X-rays, one abdominal ultrasound, one Meckel's scan, and one laparoscopy.

Researchers used the "M2A© Capsule" also known as the "Pill Camera" made by Given Imaging, Yoqneam, Israel. The findings from the capsule examinations included 73 small bowel tumors, one cecal tumor and one gastric tumor. Of these 65 percent were malignant, including adenocarcinomasc, carcinoids, melanomas, lymphomas and sarcomas.

"Small bowel tumors are traditionally difficult to diagnose because of their endoscopic inaccessibility," explains Gregory Schwartz, M.D., one of the researchers. "This has been overcome by the use of capsule endoscopy."

About Capsule Endoscopy

In wireless capsule endoscopy, the patient swallows a tiny imaging capsule that incorporates a light source, video camera, battery, antenna and radio transmitter. Images of the intestinal tract are transmitted twice each second by radio frequency to an array of sensors worn around the patient's abdomen and the signals are digitally recorded on a device that is later downloaded. The patient swallows the capsule in the morning and wears the recording device for eight hours. The capsule is eliminated and discarded. A gastroenterologist reviews the images.

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