For citation purposes: Pascu O, Ciobanu L. Usefulness of capsule endoscopy in digestive tract tumours. OA Cancer 2014 Feb 25;2(1):3.

Critical review

Diagnosis & Markers

Usefulness of capsule endoscopy in digestive tract tumours

O Pascu, L Ciobanu

Authors affiliations

Regional Institute of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University of Medicine and Pharmacy “IuliuHatieganu”, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

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This review presents a critical evaluation and a practical approach of capsule endoscopy utility in the diagnosis of digestive tract malignancy, which is based on our long-time experience combined with numerous studies regarding capsule endoscopy.


Our observations support the restrictive utility of oesophageal capsule endoscopy. Colon capsule endoscopy cannot be regarded as a proper investigation method for colorectal cancer diagnosis or screening. On the other hand, capsule endoscopy is useful in colorectal polyp screening, and small bowel malignancies are rarely diagnosed. It can be used to identify the tumour when there is a high clinical suspicion and when the usual imagistic methods fail to identify the proliferate area. Surveillance of small bowel Crohn’s disease or coeliac disorder by capsule endoscopy may identify neoplasia that might complicate these two disorders: adenocarcinoma or lymphoma. Small bowel tumours can be the source of obscure gastrointestinal bleeding, and capsule endoscopy is the most accurate method for diagnosis of tumours in such cases. The diagnostic yield of capsule endoscopy for small bowel tumours can be optimised by using colon capsule with a modified protocol in order to examine the small bowel completely.


Gastrointestinal tumours can be diagnosed using capsule endoscopy. The utility of oesophageal device for Barrett’s oesophagus is limited, as the biopsies are required.

Licensee OA Publishing London 2014. Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY)