The accuracy and acceptability of magnet assisted capsule endoscopy in the diagnosis of oesophageal pathology: an observational study

1st March 2016 - ongoing

Status: In Recruitment

Specialism: Imaging, Advanced Endoscopic Imaging, Upper GI.

Team: Dr Tim Card.

Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy/ Standard Endoscopy (SE) has become a commonly used diagnostic test for the investigation of upper gastrointestinal pathology for a variety of symptoms. This allows for direct mucosal visualisation and the acquisition of biopsies if required.

As endoscopy is an invasive procedure, SEs are carried out in a dedicated endoscopy department, with specialised equipment and trained staff. Procedures are often carried out under sedation, with a requirement for post procedure observation. These logistical considerations, in addition to the fact that due to perceived discomfort, SE is generally poorly accepted by the general population. This means that SE is reserved for those with symptoms rather than used as a screening tool.

Magnet assisted capsule endoscopy (MACE) is a potential alternative to SE for investigation of the upper gastrointestinal tract. This novel technology, merely involves swallowing a pill sized capsule, within which, technology capable of taking images is contained. This is steerable with an externally held magnet and so acquisition of mucosal images can be optimised. Images are relayed to a computer and can be viewed in real time as well as retrospectively. Once sufficient images are obtained, the capsule is released and travels through the remainder of the GI system, before being excreted. No sedation or recovery period is required and there is no requirement that this needs to take place in an endoscopy department. For the patient, there is minimal discomfort, with the capsule endoscopy similar to swallowing a normal pill. For endoscopy services, there is a possibility of performing this test in the community, with minimal staff and expertise required.

This technology, to date, has been trialled for the investigation of gastrointestinal pathology in animal and human based pilot studies. Here we hope to carry out a feasibility study on the accuracy of MACE in the investigation of oesophageal pathology.

tim-card Dr Tim Card Dr Card studied medicine in Bristol, and received his postgraduate medical training in Leicester and Oxford. He completed a PhD in Nottingham, and after completion of his clinical training returned as Clinical associate Professor.
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