(HealthDay News) – Video capsule endoscopy can be safely and accurately used to detect blood in patients with acute upper gastrointestinal hemorrhage seen in emergency departments, according to a study published online Feb. 11 in the Annals of Emergency Medicine.

To see if video capsule endoscopy could be accurately used to diagnose gastrointestinal hemorrhage in an emergency department setting, Andrew C. Meltzer, MD, from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and colleagues performed video capsule endoscopy in 25 patients with acute upper gastrointestinal hemorrhage.

The researchers found that blinded gastroenterologists and emergency physicians were in strong agreement for the presence of fresh or coffee-ground blood (0.96 overall agreement; κ=0.90). The procedure was well tolerated by 96% of patients. Capsule endoscopy had 88% sensitivity and 64% specificity for the detection of fresh blood compared with esophagogastroduodenoscopy, which had also been performed in 19 patients.

“We have demonstrated that video capsule endoscopy has promising test characteristics compared with traditional esophagoduodenoscopy for diagnosing the presence or absence of upper gastrointestinal bleeding,” Meltzer and colleagues conclude.

Two authors are consultants for Given Imaging, the manufacturer of the Pillcam Eso used in the study. Given also awarded grant money to the authors’ institution to conduct the study.

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