Having an endoscopy may soon be as simple as swallowing a specially designed capsule consisting of a tiny endoscope with a video camera at both ends. In an effort to assess the specificity and sensitivity of the method, capsule endoscopy has been compared with traditional optical colonoscopy in a multicentre, prospective trial. All 328 participants in the study had known or suspected colonic disease, and each underwent both capsule endoscopy and optical colonoscopy, which was considered the standard for comparison. The sensitivity of the capsule for detecting polyps that were 6 mm in size or greater was 64% and for advanced adenoma, 73%. The sensitivity of the method was higher in patients with better colon cleanliness after colonic preparation. The authors conclude that, although capsule endoscopy allows visualisation of the colonic mucosa without sedation or sufflation, its sensitivity is still low compared with optical colonoscopy.
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