Purpose of Technology: Capsule endoscopy (CE), also called wireless capsule endoscopy or video capsule endoscopy, is a minimally invasive procedure in which the patient swallows a multivitamin-sized capsule containing a miniaturized video camera, light transmitter, and batteries. The camera takes a video recording of the mucosal lining of the esophagus, small bowel, and/or colon as the capsule moves through the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

Rationale: CE enables visualization of the entire small bowel with no need to sedate or anesthetize the patient and with little supervision or effort needed by the nurse or physician who monitors the procedure.

Controversy: Although CE is minimally invasive, there is a risk that the capsule will become stuck in the small bowel and require another procedure to dislodge or remove it. Also, direct visualization and biopsy is not possible with CE.

Relevant Questions:

  • What is the diagnostic accuracy of CE for the detection of Crohn’s disease (CD)?

  • How does the diagnostic accuracy compare with other established and new methods of small bowel imaging?

  • Does CE provide information that changes patient management and impacts the health outcomes of patients with CD?

  • Is CE safe for use in patients with CD?

  • What are patient selection criteria for CE, and how does this method fit into the standard care?

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