Retained capsule endoscopy in a large tertiary care academic practice and radiologic predictors of retention

Badr Al-Bawardy, Giles Locke, James E. Huprich, Joel G. Fletcher, Jeff L. Fidler, John M. Barlow, Brenda Becker, Elizabeth Rajan, Edward V. Loftus, David H. Bruining, Stephanie L. Hansel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Background: Capsule retention reported rates range between 1% and 13%. This study aims to determine the incidence of, risk factors for, and clinical outcomes of capsule retention in a large heterogenous cohort of patients and define cross-sectional imaging findings predictive of capsule retention. Methods: A retrospective review of all capsule endoscopy (CE) examinations performed at our center from January 2002 to January 2013 was undertaken. Data on patient demographics, CE indication, findings, and details of management were analyzed. Radiologic images of patients with computed tomography scan performed 6 months before CE for patients with CE retention and for controls without CE retention but at high risk based on clinical computed tomography reports were examined by a gastrointestinal radiologist, blinded to history, and classified as worrisome based on the presence of stricture, partial obstruction, or small bowel (SB) anastomosis. Results: Seventeen CE retentions (0.3%) occurred in 15 patients. Obscure gastrointestinal bleeding (47%) was the most common indication. Outcomes included surgical intervention (n 10), endoscopic retrieval (n 2), passing of capsule after treatment of inflammation (n 3), passage after conservative measures for SB obstruction (n 1), and loss to follow-up (n 1). Patients with CE retention were more likely to have SB anastomoses (88% versus 23%) and partial obstruction (63% versus 38%) than patients with high-risk features for capsule retention who passed the capsule. Conclusions: In a tertiary care population without obstructive symptoms, capsule retention occurred in only 0.3% of cases. Review of surgical history and prior imaging for obstruction or SB anastomoses may help to reduce retention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2158-2164
Number of pages7
JournalInflammatory bowel diseases
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jun 12 2015


  • capsule endoscopy
  • capsule retention
  • small bowel anastomosis
  • small bowel obstruction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology
  • Immunology and Allergy


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