Capsule endoscopy in crohn’s disease—from a relative contraindication to habitual monitoring tool

Adi Lahat*, Ido Veisman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Crohn’s disease (CD) is a chronic inflammatory disorder that may involve the gastrointestinal tract from the mouth to the anus. Habitual disease monitoring is highly important during disease management, aiming to identify and treat disease exacerbations, in order to avoid immediate and future complications. Currently, ilio-clonoscopy is the gold standard for mucosal assessment. However, the procedure is invasive, involves sedation and allows for visualization of the colon and only a small part of the terminal ileum, while most of the small bowel is not visualized. Since CD may involve the whole length of the small bowel, the disease extent might be underestimated. Capsule endoscopy (CE) provides a technology that can screen the entire bowel in a non-invasive procedure, with minimal side effects. In recent years, this technique has gained in popularity for CD evaluation and monitoring. When CE was first introduced, two decades ago, the fear of possible capsule retention in the narrowed inflamed bowel lumen limited its use in CD patients, and a known CD located at the small bowel was even regarded as a relative contraindication for capsule examination. However, at present, as experience using CE in CD patients has accumulated, this procedure has become one of the accepted tools for disease diagnosis and monitoring. In our current review, we summarize the historic change in the indications and contraindications for the usage of capsule endoscopy for the evaluation of CD, and discuss international recommendations regarding CE’s role in CD diagnosis and monitoring.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1737
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • Capsule endoscopy (CE)
  • Capsule retention
  • Crohn’s disease (CD)
  • Guidelines
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Pan-enteric capsule


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