Capsule endoscopy in neoplastic diseases

Pennazio, Marco; Rondonotti, Emanuele; de Franchis, Roberto; Herrlinger, Klaus R.
September 2008
World Journal of Gastroenterology;9/14/2008, Vol. 14 Issue 34, p5245
Academic Journal
Until recently, diagnosis and management of small-bowel tumors were delayed by the difficulty of access to the small bowel and the poor diagnostic capabilities of the available diagnostic techniques. An array of new methods has recently been developed, increasing the possibility of detecting these tumors at an earlier stage. Capsule endoscopy (CE) appears to be an ideal tool to recognize the presence of neoplastic lesions along this organ, since it is non-invasive and enables the entire small bowel to be visualized. High-quality images of the small-bowel mucosa may be captured and small and flat lesions recognized, without exposure to radiation. Recent studies on a large population of patients undergoing CE have reported small-bowel tumor frequency only slightly above that reported in previous surgical series (range, 1.6%-2.4%) and have also confirmed that the main clinical indication to CE in patients with small-bowel tumors is obscure gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding. The majority of tumors identified by CE are malignant; many were unsuspected and not found by other methods. However, it remains difficult to identify pathology and tumor type based on the lesion's endoscopic appearance. Despite its limitations, CE provides crucial information leading in most cases to changes in subsequent patient management. Whether the use of CE in combination with other new diagnostic (MRI or multidetector CT enterography) and therapeutic (Push-and-pull enteroscopy) techniques will lead to earlier diagnosis and treatment of these neoplasms, ultimately resulting in a survival advantage and in cost savings, remains to be determined through carefully-designed studies.


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