BACKGROUND/AIMS: Capsule endoscopy may be a useful diagnostic tool for radiation enteritis in select situations. We conducted this pilot study to test feasibility of capsule endoscopy in the diagnosis of radiation enteritis.
METHODOLOGY: Patients who received chemoradiotherapy to treat pancreatic cancer were enrolled. To increase the diagnostic yield of radiation enteritis, capsule endoscopy was performed in patients having anemia or chronic abdominal pain after chemoradiotherapy.
RESULTS: Fifteen patients were enrolled between June 2007 and December 2008. The mean age was 63.4 +/- 8.0 years. The median radiation dose was 5040cGy with range of 4500-5994cGy. The mean total operating time of capsule was 10h 12 min +/- 2h 37 min, and the complete examination rate to the cecum was 93.3%. Nine patients (60%) were suspected to have radiation enteritis, and of these, five (33.3%) had abnormal findings that strongly suggested radiation enteritis. Congested mucosa and erythematous mucosa were the most frequent abnormal lesions. No capsule retention or other complications occurred.
CONCLUSIONS: Capsule endoscopy may safely and effectively diagnose radiation enteritis in patients previously treated with chemoradiotherapy on the upper abdomen, although a larger trial is needed to confirm this.