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Capsule endoscopy: 10 years on and in the frontline
  1. M E McAlindon,
  2. D S Sanders,
  3. R Sidhu
  1. Small Bowel and Nutrition Unit, Department of Gastroenterology, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr M E McAlindon, Ward P2, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Glossop Road, Sheffield, S10 2JF, UK; mark.mcalindon{at}


Capsule endoscopy is a safe, simple, remote method of visualising the gastrointestinal tract without resorting to conventional endoscopic intubation or radiation exposure. In addition, the ability to visualise the small bowel mucosa directly means that it is considerably more sensitive than existing small bowel imaging modalities in detecting subtle abnormalities. It is a firstline investigative modality for suspected small bowel bleeding and is being increasingly used for detecting evidence of other small bowel diseases. In Crohn's disease, it can confirm evidence of activity without recourse to repeated endoscopic intubation or radiation but does not replace MRI and CT which are better suited to defining stricturing disease and transmural complications. The production of different capsule endoscopes to examine the oesophagus, small bowel and colon now means that almost all of the gut can be examined using this technology.

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  • Competing interests MEMcA was sponsored by Given Imaging to attend the 3rd International Conference on Capsule Endoscopy in 2004 and the United European Gastroenterology Week in 2006. He is a co-director of the European Castle Capsule Course which is supported by Diagmed Healthcare Ltd. He has received an honorarium from IntroMedic to provide capsule endoscopy training at the World Congress of Gastroenterology in 2009.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • MEMcA wrote the first draft of the article which was modified by DSS and RS. MEMcA addressed the reviewers comments.

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