Capsule Endoscopy Versus Colonoscopy in Patients With Previous Colorectal Surgery: A Prospective Comparative Study

Claudio Fiorillo, Giuseppe Quero, Fabio Longo, Pietro Mascagni, Michel Delvaux, Didier Mutter


Background: Colonic capsule endoscopy (CCE) derived from the video capsule endoscopy, initially proposed to explore the small bowel, has demonstrated high sensitivity and specificity for colonic polyp detection. The primary outcome of the study was to assess the safety, feasibility, and reliability of CCE after colorectal surgery. Secondary outcomes were to identify the detection rate of colonic lesions and recognition of the surgical anastomosis as compared to colonoscopy.

Methods: This is a prospective single-center study conducted over a 2-year period. Thirty-seven patients with a history of colorectal surgery were prospectively included in this study. Each patient received both CCE and colonoscopy, performed by different operators blinded to each other’s results.

Results: Thirty-two patients (86.5%) completed the study and were included in the final analysis. All capsules were naturally expelled. In three patients (9.4%), the anal verge was not identified during the CCE recording and the examination of the colon was considered incomplete. Surgical anastomosis was accurately identified by CCE in 78.2% of the patients versus 93.8% for colonoscopy (P = 0.65). Thirty-eight lesions were detected in 14 patients. The sensitivity of CCE to detect colonic polyps was 95.2% (95% confidence interval (CI): 77.3-99.2%), the specificity 82.4% (95% CI: 59.0-93.8%). Positive predictive value (PPV) and negative predictive value (NPV) of CCE to detect colonic polyps were 87.0% and 93.3%, respectively. No complications related to the passage of the capsule through the intestinal anastomosis were detected.

Conclusions: CCE proved to be safe and feasible, reporting a similar detection rate of colonic lesion compared to colonoscopy.

Gastroenterol Res. 2020;13(5):217-224


Colonic capsule endoscopy; Video; Colonoscopy; Follow-up after colorectal surgery; Colorectal cancer screening; Colonic anastomosis

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