Non-small-bowel abnormalities identified during small bowel capsule endoscopy

Reinier Hoedemakers, Jessie Westerhof, Rinse K. Weersma, Jan J. Koornstra*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
184 Downloads (Pure)


AIM: To investigate the incidence of non-small-bowel abnormalities in patients referred for small bowel capsule endoscopy, this single center study was performed.

METHODS: Small bowel capsule endoscopy is an accepted technique to investigate obscure gastrointestinal bleeding. This is defined as bleeding from the digestive tract that persists or recurs without an obvious etiology after a normal gastroduodenoscopy and colonoscopy. Nevertheless, capsule endoscopy sometimes reveals findings outside the small bowel, i. e., within reach of conventional endoscopes. In this retrospective single center study, 595 patients undergoing capsule endoscopy between 2003 and 2009 were studied. The incidence of non-small bowel abnormalities was defined as visible abnormalities detected by capsule endoscopy that are located within reach of conventional endoscopes.

RESULTS: In 595 patients, referred for obscure gas-trointestinal bleeding or for suspected Crohn's disease, abnormalities were found in 306 (51.4%). Of these 306 patients, 85 (27.7%) had abnormalities within reach of conventional endoscopes; 63 had abnormalities apparently overlooked at previous conventional endoscopies, 10 patients had not undergone upper and lower endoscopy prior to capsule endoscopy and 12 had abnormalities that were already known prior to capsule endoscopy. The most common type of missed lesions were vascular lesions (n = 47). Non-small-bowel abnormalities were located in the stomach (n = 15), proximal small bowel (n = 22), terminal ileum (n = 21), colon (n = 19) or at other or multiple locations (n = 8). Ten patients with abnormal findings in the terminal ileum had not undergone examination of the ileum during colonoscopy.

CONCLUSION: A significant proportion of patients undergoing small bowel capsule endoscopy had lesions within reach of conventional endoscopes, indicating that capsule endoscopy was unnecessarily performed. (C) 2014 Baishideng Publishing Group Co., Limited. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4025-4029
Number of pages5
JournalWorld Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 14-Apr-2014


  • Capsule endoscopy
  • Small bowel
  • Findings
  • Colon
  • Stomach

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