New wireless imaging test identified the cause of gastrointestinal bleeding in majority of patients

May 20, 2002

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (May 20, 2002, 8:00 a.m, PST) Researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center report that a new imaging test identified the cause of gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding in the majority of patients unable to be diagnosed with conventional imaging methods. The test involves swallowing a tiny camera-in-a-capsule that takes constant color pictures as it passes through the GI tract. The findings, presented at the annual meeting of Digestive Disease Week 2002 in San Francisco, may enable physicians to diagnose and treat the cause of GI bleeding at the outset of patients' symptoms.

"We found the cause of bleeding in the majority of our difficult-to-diagnose patients, enabling us to offer more effective treatment options sooner rather than later," said Simon K. Lo, the lead investigator of the study and Director of the Interventional Endoscopy program at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

GI bleeds can occur due to ulcers, broken blood vessels, tumors, and diseases of the small intestine such as Crohn's disease. However, conventional imaging tests often fail to find the source of the bleed because they cannot extend throughout the length of the entire small intestine. For example, upper endoscopic procedures can only visualize about the first third of the small intestine - an organ which is 15-20 feet long - while colonoscopy can only see the last three or four feet. The video capsule (produced by Given Imaging, Ltd.), on the other hand, was engineered to view most of the GI tract via a wireless endoscopic approach. About the size of a large megavitamin, the capsule contains a camera, light source, radio transmitter and battery and works by transmitting pictures of the small intestine to a wireless recorder that the patient wears on a belt. Patients swallow the capsule in the morning and the images are downloaded to a computer where they can be read six to eight hours later.

In the study, the investigators examined the imaging studies of 37 patients with undiagnosed GI bleeding who had undergone an imaging test with the video capsule. Of these, the investigators identified the likely source of bleeding in 28 patients (76 percent) with conditions not previously diagnosed with conventional tests. Further, many of these patients (43 percent) were found to have active bleeding in the small intestine regardless of whether their symptoms indicated it.

"We found that wireless endoscopy can be used to identify the source of bleeding even in patients who have undergone multiple prior imaging tests and whose symptoms aren't indicative of an active bleed," said Dr. Lo. "This means that patients may ultimately be able to benefit from treatment before they experience a worsening of their symptoms."
-end-
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center is one of the largest non-profit academic medical centers in the Western United States. For the fifth straight two-year period, Cedars-Sinai has been named Southern California's gold standard in health care in an independent survey. Cedars-Sinai is internationally renowned for its diagnostic and treatment capabilities and its broad spectrum of programs and services, as well as breakthrough biomedical research and superlative medical education. Named among the 100 "Most Wired" hospitals in health care in 2001, the Medical Center ranks among the top seven non-university hospitals in the nation for its research activities.

For media information and to arrange interviews, please contact Kelli Stauning at 310-423-3674/310-423-4767 or via e-mail at kelli.stauning@cshs.org.

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

Related Gastrointestinal Articles from Brightsurf:

Review finds almost 20% of COVID-19 patients only show gastrointestinal symptoms
Almost one in five patients with COVID-19 may only show gastrointestinal symptoms, according to a review of academic studies published in the journal Abdominal Radiology.

Gastrointestinal innovation holds potential for treating variety of conditions
Proof-of-concept studies in models of lactose intolerance, diabetes and infectious disease demonstrate potential applications.

Study: Surgical delay associated with increased risk in some gastrointestinal malignancies
Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, widespread cancellations of electively-scheduled or ''non-emergency'' operations were implemented to free up hospital beds and conserve protective equipment for health care workers.

Happiness might protect you from gastrointestinal distress
Serotonin, a chemical known for its role in producing feelings of well-being and happiness in the brain, can reduce the ability of some intestinal pathogens to cause deadly infections, new research by UT Southwestern scientists suggests.

Four of ten adults worldwide have functional gastrointestinal disorders
For every ten adults in the world, four suffer from functional gastrointestinal disorders of varying severity.

AGA issues formal recommendations for PPE during gastrointestinal procedures
Today, the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) published new COVID-19 recommendations in Gastroenterology, the official journal of the AGA: AGA Institute Rapid Recommendations for Gastrointestinal Procedures During the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Algae shown to improve gastrointestinal health
A green, single-celled organism called Chlamydomonas reinhardtii has served as a model species for topics spanning algae-based biofuels to plant evolution.

Should patients continue blood thinners after experiencing gastrointestinal bleeding?
Anticoagulants and antiplatelet drugs, which are blood thinners such as warfarin and aspirin, are commonly taken to reduce the risk of potentially fatal blood clots, but they carry an increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding.

Higher salt intake can cause gastrointestinal bloating
A study led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that individuals reported more gastrointestinal bloating when they ate a diet high in salt.

Investigators explore temperature-triggered devices for gastrointestinal therapies
Investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital and MIT are designing devices that can be triggered by the ingestion of a warm liquid to break down into smaller segments that can be excreted.

Read More: Gastrointestinal News and Gastrointestinal Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.