CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · Endosc Int Open 2018; 06(08): E989-E993
DOI: 10.1055/a-0590-3940
Original article
Owner and Copyright © Georg Thieme Verlag KG 2018

Video capsule endoscopy as a tool for evaluation of obscure overt gastrointestinal bleeding in the intensive care unit

Shahrad Hakimian
1  Department of Medicine, UMass Memorial Medical Center, Worcester, MA
,
Salmaan Jawaid
2  Division of Gastroenterology, UMass Memorial Medical Center, Worcester, MA
,
Yurima Guilarte-Walker
3  Division of Data Sciences and Technology, Information Technology, UMass Medical School, Worcester, MA
,
Jomol Mathew
3  Division of Data Sciences and Technology, Information Technology, UMass Medical School, Worcester, MA
,
David Cave
2  Division of Gastroenterology, UMass Memorial Medical Center, Worcester, MA
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

submitted 04 December 2017

accepted after revision 21 February 2018

Publication Date:
03 August 2018 (online)

Abstract

Background and study aims Video capsule endoscopy (VCE) is a minimally invasive tool that helps visualize the gastrointestinal tract from the esophagus to the right colon without the need for sedation or preparation. VCE is safe with very few contraindications. However, its role and safety profile in the intensive care unit (ICU) population have not been reported. The aim of this study is to evaluate the safety, efficacy, and feasibility of VCE use in ICU patients.

Patients and methods We conducted a single-center retrospective observational study of patients who underwent VCE for evaluation of obscure overt gastrointestinal bleeding in the ICU between 2008 and 2016.

Results This study included 48 patients who were admitted to the UMass Memorial Medical Center ICUs for gastrointestinal bleeding. VCE was successfully completed in 43/48 (90 %) patients. The entire length of small bowel could be evaluated in 75 % and the source of bleeding was identified in 44 % of the patients. The most commonly identified source of bleeding included small bowel angioectasias, duodenal erosions/ulcers, and small bowel polyps. No major complications could be attributed to the VCE. Only 1 capsule was retained after 2 wk; however, there was no incidence of bowel obstruction, perforation, or capsule aspiration.

Conclusions This observational retrospective study demonstrates that VCE may be a safe, feasible, and effective diagnostic tool in evaluation of gastrointestinal bleeding in the ICU population with few complications. VCE may be a safe diagnostic prelude and be a guide to the correct therapeutic procedure if needed, in the context of patients who are seriously ill.