Endoscopy 2008; 40(1): 36-39
DOI: 10.1055/s-2007-995353
Original article

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Capsule endoscopy and cardiac pacemakers: investigation for possible interference

D.  Bandorski1 , W.  Irnich2 , M.  Brück1 , N.  Beyer3 , W.  Kramer1 , R.  Jakobs3
  • 1Medizinische Klinik 1, Klinikum Wetzlar, Wetzlar, Germany
  • 2Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen, Universitätsklinikum, Giessen, Germany
  • 3Medizinische Klinik 2, Klinikum Wetzlar, Wetzlar, Germany
Further Information

Publication History

submitted 18 April 2007

accepted after revision 27 September 2007

Publication Date:
07 December 2007 (online)

Background and study aims: The diagnostic benefit of capsule endoscopy in suspected small-bowel disease is high and seems to be superior to that with conventional methods and scintigraphy. Because of the limited clinical experience in patients with cardiac pacemakers and other implanted electrical devices, it is recommended that capsule endoscopy should not be used in such cases. We investigated the potential for capsule endoscopy to interfere with cardiac pacemakers in vitro.

Material and methods: 21 different pacemakers and leads were positioned in a 0.9 % saline solution in a tank. Pin jacks were placed that were in contact with the solution. The pacemaker impulse was recorded and an inhibiting signal could be coupled in. The capsules (Given Imaging and Olympus) were placed in different positions relative to the cardiac pacemaker and finally placed on the case of the pacemaker, for 1 minute in each site. The functioning of the pacemaker was observed continuously. The effect on the pacemaker was noted particularly as inhibition, synchronization, or no effect. The pacemaker was then inhibited using a standard test signal.

Results: There was no interference between the video capsule and the cardiac pacemakers in our experiment in spite of the close proximity of the two devices.

Conclusion: The clinical use of capsule endoscopy is unproblematic in patients with cardiac pacemakers.


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D. Bandorski, MD 

Klinikum Wetzlar

Medizinische Klinik 1


35578 Wetzlar


Fax: +49-6441-792328

Email: dirk.bandorski@lahn-dill-kliniken.de