Feasibility and safety of string, wireless capsule endoscopy in the diagnosis of Barrett's esophagus

Francisco C. Ramirez, Masud S. Shaukat, Michele A. Young, David A. Johnson, Rodney Akins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Background: Capsule endoscopy is a major technological advancement in the visualization of the small bowell. Its utility in the evaluation of the esophagus is mainly limited by its rapid and unpredictable transmission, thus limiting the number of pictures of the esophagus, in particular, the distal esophagus. Methods: Strings were attached to the wireless capsule endoscopy device to allow its controlled movement up and down the esophagus. Microbiologic cultures of the capsule's surface after high-level disinfection were carried out after the procedure. At the time of recording, discomfort associated with the procedure was documented. Patient preference compared with conventional EGD was recorded. An independent endoscopist blinded to the EGD diagnoses assessed the diagnostic accuracy of pictures obtained. Observations: Fifty patients with Barrett's esophagus were enrolled: 28 with short-segment Barrett's and 22 with long-segment Barrett's. The procedure was safe (no strings were disrupted, and no capsule was lost), and it rendered negative microbiologic cultures after high-level disinfection. The mean recording time was 7.9 minutes; all patients with both short- and long-segment Barrett's esophagus were successfully identified. The difficulty/discomfort associated with swallowing the device, throat discomfort, gagging, moving the capsule (up and down and upon retrieval of the capsule) was none or minimal in 74%, 98%, 96%, 94%, and 76%, respectively. A single capsule was used in 24 studies, and the majority of patients (92%) preferred string-capsule endoscopy to EGD. Conclusions: String-capsule endoscopy was feasible, safe, and highly acceptable, and was preferred by patients and may prove to be more cost effective than screening EGD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)741-746
Number of pages6
JournalGastrointestinal endoscopy
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Gastroenterology


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