A novel diagnostic tool for detecting oesophageal pathology: The PillCam oesophageal video capsule

R. Eliakim*, K. Yassin, I. Shlomi, A. Suissa, G. M. Eisen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

144 Scopus citations


Background: Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease is a common entity. Erosive oesophagitis, ulcers and Barrett's oesophagus, which is found in up to 10% of gastrooesophageal reflux disease patients, characterize severe gastro-oesophageal reflux disease. Patients with Barrett's oesophagus have 0.5% per patient-year risk of developing oesophageal adenocarcinoma. Currently, it appears that a minority of those at risk for Barrett's oesophagus undergo screening in part because of the costs associated with endoscopy as well as risks of sedation. A new ingestible PillCam oesophageal capsule developed may offer an alternative office-based approach to visualize the oesophagus without sedation. Aim: To compare the oesophageal capsule to conventional upper endoscopy for detection of oesophageal pathologies. Methods: A newly developed capsule, which acquires video images from both ends of the device at a 4 frame/s rate, was ingested by 17 fasting patients with suspected oesophageal disorders. An ingestion procedure aimed to lengthen capsule transit time in the oesophagus was utilized. Subsequently, a standard upper endoscopy was carried out. The investigator interpreting the capsule findings was blinded to the endoscopy results and vice versa. Patients with dysphagia, known Zenker's diverticulum, intestinal obstruction, cardiac pacemaker or pregnancy were excluded. Results: Twelve of the 17 patients examined had oesophageal findings using the endoscope as the gold standard. Capsule endoscopy identified oesophageal pathology in all 12 of these patients and an additional pathology in one patient that was missed during endoscopy. For the purpose of this study, this finding was regarded as a false-positive. The mean oesophageal passage time was 189 ± 280 s. The positive predictive value of the oesophageal capsule for any oesophageal pathology was 92% and the negative predictive value was 100%. Oesophageal capsule sensitivity was 100% and specificity 80%. There were neither swallowing difficulties nor complications subsequent to ingestion in any subjects. Seventy-three percentage of patients preferred the oesophageal capsule procedure on conventional endoscopy. Only one patient preferred oesophagogastroduodenoscopy. Conclusions: This pilot study has shown that oesophageal capsule endoscopy is an accurate, convenient, safe and well-tolerated method to screen patients for significant oesophageal disorders. No sedation is required, which may allow simple, office-based screening and assessment. Further, large-scale studies are necessary to more fully assess this novel diagnostic tool.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1083-1089
Number of pages7
JournalAlimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Issue number10
StatePublished - 15 Nov 2004
Externally publishedYes


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