Seeing What's Out of Sight: Wireless Capsule Endoscopy's Unique Ability to Visualize and Accurately Assess the Severity of Gastrointestinal Graft-versus-Host-Disease

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Early recognition of gastrointestinal graft-versus-host disease (GI GVHD) after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (alloHSCT) is vital to initiation of therapy. However, the most common location, the small bowel (SB), is difficult to access with upper and lower endoscopy (UGE/LGE). Wireless capsule endoscopy (WCE) is a noninvasive technology allowing complete SB evaluation. The capsule location can also be tracked to identify motility derangements. From August 2006 to July 2007, 11 alloHSCT patients with GI symptoms underwent WCE, and visual grading was performed. UGE and LGE with biopsies were done when clinically indicated. All patients had evidence of probable acute GVHD (aGVHD) on WCE. WCE revealed lesions of greater severity than those seen by UGE or LGE in most patients. WCE demonstrated that 45% of patients had delayed gastric transit time. WCE is an excellent, noninvasive method for assessing GI GVHD, with the ability to more accurately assess the severity of GVHD, evaluate clinical symptoms, and follow response to treatment. © 2009 American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation.




Varadarajan, P., Dunford, L. M., Thomas, J. A., Brown, K., Paplham, P., Syta, M., … McCarthy, P. L. (2009). Seeing What’s Out of Sight: Wireless Capsule Endoscopy’s Unique Ability to Visualize and Accurately Assess the Severity of Gastrointestinal Graft-versus-Host-Disease. Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation, 15(5), 643–648.

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