Video Capsule Endoscopy (VCE) is a noninvasive technology designed primarily to provide diagnostic imaging of the small bowel. This new diagnostic marvel is available at Gastroenterology Associates of Western Colorado (GAWC). “The capsule endoscopy visualizes the entire small bowel compared to only approximately 20% visualized by routine endoscopy procedures. Capsule endoscopy approaches the concept of physiological endoscopy since the capsule moves forward passively by the involuntary movements of the small intestine, capturing about 50,000 images over 6-8 hours”.
The primary indication has been for the diagnosis of the site of obscure GI bleeding in adults. In addition, the capsule is being used increasingly for the diagnosis of small bowel tumors, vascular malformations, NSAID related small bowel injury, suspected Crohn’s disease, evaluation for iron deficiency anemia, suspected celiac sprue, and polyposis syndrome. The capsule takes two images per second, which are transmitted as JPEG files to the recorder which acquires up to 55,000 images over approximately eight hours. The images are then uploaded onto a computer and are viewed in a movie sequence.
Capsule Endoscopy heralds an important step in the diagnosis of disorders of the small bowel. Not only it is valuable in the previously difficult-to-detect lesions in the small bowel, but also it helps detecting them at an earlier stage thereby enabling treatment before the development of complications. In all, the capsule endoscopy promises to be an invaluable tool in the diagnosis and evaluation of disorders of the small intestine.