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Conventional endoscopes do not permit us to inspect the small intestine, apart from the segments at its start and end, which, nonetheless, represent very small portions of its total length.
Capsule endoscopy is a means to inspect the small intestine with the help of a wireless capsule that patients swallow. The course of the capsule in the small intestine is then recorded on video.
A mini preparation of the intestine with laxatives takes place the day before the exam and on the morning of the next day patients swallow the capsule and wear the recording device around their waste. The device is removed on the afternoon of the same day and the doctor looks at the recorded video on a computer screen.
Capsule endoscopy is a useful tool for many diagnostic problems in medicine, such as
- unexplained blood loss / anemia;
- abdominal pain;
- chronic diarrheal disease;
- diagnosis of the small intestine involvement in Crohn’s disease patients.
In patients with suspected Crohn’s disease, the administration of a test capsule may often be required prior to the actual capsule, to check the patency of the small intestine. Moreover, in Crohn’s disease patients it is always necessary to perform MR or CT enterography, to check the patency of the small intestine.
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