Video capsule endoscopy is safe for kids

May 22, 2014

Video capsule endoscopy is safe and effective for diagnosing and managing many gastrointestinal disorders in children, according to information presented during this year’s Digestive Disease Week in Chicago, Illinois.

 

Video capsule endoscopy is safe and effective for diagnosing and managing many gastrointestinal (GI) disorders in children, according to information presented during this year’s Digestive Disease Week in Chicago, Illinois.

Stephen Nanton, MD, director of pediatric gastroenterology at Avera McKenna Hospital and University Health Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, reported that the inch-long device did not get stuck in the GI tract of any of the children studied, a previous concern. The children in the study ranged in age from 2.5 years to 21.5 years. He did say, however, that some children aged younger than 5 years have difficulty swallowing the video capsule, and some older children simply refuse to.

Ninety-one children were able to swallow the inch-long device in the office setting, while 25 required laryngoscopic assistance to place the camera in the correct position to begin its journey.

To illustrate efficacy, Nanton explained that in 15 of 15 patients being treated for Crohn disease, treatment was altered because of findings revealed by the technology. Similarly, 7 of 51 children thought to have celiac disease had small bowel polyps, which led to a more specific diagnosis.

Transit of the device through the GI tract usually takes about 8 hours, during which time the capsule-sized camera takes roughly 50,000 pictures that transmit to a wireless recorder worn on the patient’s belt. The information is then downloaded to a computer.

According to the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, capsule endoscopy allows for examination of the middle part of the GI tract, including the 3 portions of the small intestine-the duodenum, jejunum, and ileum-that are inaccessible by traditional endoscopy and colonoscopy. 


 

 

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