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Capsule Endoscopy Helps in Crohn's Disease Diagnosis

Capsule endoscopy detects mucosal lesions missed by magnetic resonance imaging

FRIDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Capsule endoscopy and magnetic resonance imaging are complementary ways of diagnosing small bowel Crohn's disease, according to a study in the December issue of Gut.

Wolfgang Fleig, M.D., of Martin-Luther-University in Halle, Germany, and colleagues investigated 52 patients by MRI, fluoroscopy and, if bowel obstruction could be excluded, by capsule endoscopy. Crohn's disease was newly suspected in 25 of the patients, while 27 had been diagnosed earlier with non-small bowel Crohn's disease.

Small bowel Crohn's disease was diagnosed in 41 of 52 patients, or 79%. Because of bowel strictures, capsule endoscopy could not be performed on 14 of the patients. In the remaining 27, capsule endoscopy detected small bowel Crohn's disease in 25 cases (93%), MRI detected it in 21 (78%) and fluoroscopy detected it in seven (33%).

Capsule endoscopy was the only diagnostic tool used in four patients, and was slightly more sensitive than MRI, the researchers found.

"Capsule endoscopy and MRI are complementary methods for diagnosing small bowel Crohn's disease," the authors conclude. "Capsule endoscopy is capable of detecting limited mucosal lesions that may be missed by MRI, but awareness of bowel obstruction is mandatory. In contrast, MRI is helpful in identifying transmural Crohn's disease and extraluminal lesions, and may exclude strictures."

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