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Esophageal capsule endoscopy for evaluation of patients with chronic gastroesophageal reflux symptoms: findings and its image quality


Professor Rome Jutabha, MD, David Geffen School of Medicine at University of California, 100 UCLA Medical Plaza, Suite 310, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA. Email:


Esophageal capsule endoscopy (ECE) may offer an alternative approach to visualize esophageal lesions associated with gastroesophageal reflux (GER) disease. The objective of this study was to report the ECE findings in patients with GER symptoms and validate a new scoring system to assess ECE video quality. Five hundred two ECE were performed in patients with GER symptoms. We devised a new grading scale called ECE Utility score to assess the quality of images using five different parameters: anatomic landmarks visualized, esophageal transit time, image quality, illumination, and artifacts. The ECE cases were independently scored by two interpreters in a randomized, blinded fashion. Reflux esophagitis was diagnosed via ECE in 254 patients (50.5%). We identified 12 cases (2.4%) with suspected Barrett's esophagus and all of them had endoscopic evidence of Barrett's esophagus on esophagogastroduodenoscopy. Histologic confirmation Barrett's esophagus was found in six patients and dysplasia was found in one patient. From the 502 cases, mean ± standard deviation total ECE Utility score was 8.89 ± 0.96 for interpreter 1 and 8.96 ± 0.93 for interpreter 2. The concordance rate between the two interpreters for the ECE Utility score ranged from 75.9–96.8% across the parameters and the Pearson correlation rate of the total score was 0.81. ECE is shown to be a simple noninvasive valuable technique for evaluating esophageal mucosa and producing high quality images in patients with GER symptoms. ECE can help as an alternative screening tool for diagnosing Barrett's esophagus.