Capsule endoscopy (CE) has been recommended as the method of choice for diagnostic endoscopy of the small bowel. An experienced nurse, after proper training, may contribute to the endoscopy procedures as previously described for sigmoidoscopy. The aim of this study was to evaluate the ability of an experienced gastroenterology nurse to prepare CE records for physician interpretation, by detecting abnormal thumbnails. A prospective, observational design was used. Fifty CE videos were preread by a specially trained gastroenterology nurse who thumbnailed the abnormalities detected for interpretation by the gastroenterologist. The nurse's description of the lesions and the calculated gastric and bowel transit times were compared to the interpretation of the videos made directly by the gastroenterologist (gold standard). The primary end point of the study was the quality of the nurse's pathology findings; the secondary end point was the cost effectiveness of this practice. There was complete agreement between the nurse and gastroenterologist for all 12 cases interpreted as normal by the gastroenterologist. In the remaining 38 cases, the nurse created 130 thumbnail selections and the physician, 99. Complete interobserver agreement was achieved for 93 of the 96 lesions categorized as "significant" by the physician (96.9%). After all relevant variables were taken into account, this approach saved $324 per CE examination. The use of nurse practitioner to preread CE videos and prepare thumbnail selections for further assessment by the gastroenterologist appears to be safe, reliable, and cost effective.
- Capsule endoscopy
- Small bowel