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Norbert Krauss, Thomas Rabenstein, Eckhart G Hahn, Peter Konturek
Med Sci Monit 2002; 8(6): RA128-132
Wireless capsule endoscopy is currently the outstanding technical innovationin diagnostic gastrointestinal endoscopy. Especially for small bowel diseases this new technique offersseveral potential advantages compared to traditional diagnostic tools. Capsule endoscopy is a painlessprocedure that can be performed as an ambulatory endoscopic examination. First experimental studies provedthe good tolerance of the capsule endoscopy and the possibility of a complete visual investigation ofthe small bowel. Clinical studies demonstrated possible fields of application: Obscure chronic or intermittentgastrointestinal blood loss and inflammatory bowel disease. The major risk of the procedure - intestinalobstruction by the capsule - may hinder its use in the diagnosis of polyps or tumors in the small bowel.In the next years it will be exciting to see whether capsule endoscopy will finally reach the clinicalsignificance we expect at the moment. Possibly, the diagnostic algorithm for obscure gastrointestinalbleeding has to be changed in the future due to the abandonment of less effective procedures.