Undisclosed use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may underlie small-bowel injury observed by capsule endoscopy

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Background & Aims: Findings from capsule endoscopies (CEs) of patients with enteropathy from nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be indistinguishable from those with Crohn's disease, making medication history crucial to image interpretation. Undeclared NSAID use has been proposed to cause unexplained peptic ulcers; we investigated whether it is also an issue among patients referred for small-bowel CE. Methods: We collected demographic data, indications for CE, and medication history prospectively. A salicylate spot test and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry were performed for NSAID metabolites in urine samples of patients undergoing routine CE. Videos were analyzed by a gastroenterologist who was blinded to the urinalysis results. Results: Seventy-six patients (52 women; mean age, 50 y) underwent CE for suspected small-bowel pathology. Urinalysis was positive in 13.6% of patients (salicylates, n = 3; ibuprofen, n = 6; and ibuprofen and diclofenac, n = 1) although only 1 of these patients declared use of an NSAID (aspirin). Although 2 patients had normal CE results, 80% had positive results, including the presence of erosions (n = 5), ulceration (n = 2), and ulcers with early stricturing (n = 1, diagnosed with Crohn's disease). A patient with small-bowel ulceration underwent surgery and was found to have NSAID-associated enteropathy, based on histologic analysis. Conclusions: Of patients who undergo CE, 13.6% took NSAIDs or aspirin, but most did not declare using these medications. Small-bowel inflammation was common in this cohort and could be mistaken for Crohn's disease. Patients should be questioned about use of over-the-counter medications, and routine urinalysis for NSAID metabolites may be helpful before interpretation of CE findings. © 2010 AGA Institute.




Sidhu, R., Brunt, L. K., Morley, S. R., Sanders, D. S., & McAlindon, M. E. (2010). Undisclosed use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may underlie small-bowel injury observed by capsule endoscopy. Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 8(11), 992–995. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cgh.2010.07.011

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