Objective: To systematically evaluate the feasibility and methodology to carry out wireless capsule endoscopy (WCE) in children <8 years to define small intestinal pathology. Design: Prospective European multicentre study with negative prior investigation. Patients and interventions: 83 children aged 1.5-7.9 years were recruited. Initially, all were offered "swallowing" (Group 1) for capsule introduction. If this failed endoscopic placement (Group 2) was used and the Roth net, Advance or custom-made introducers were compared. Outcome measures: Primary endpoint: to determine pathology; secondary endpoint: comparison of capsule introduction methods. Results: Capsule introduction: 20 (24%) children aged 4.0-7.9 years (mean, 6.9 years; 14 male) comprising Group 1 were older (p<0.025) than 63 (76%) aged 1.5-7.9 years (mean, 5.25 years; 30 male) forming Group 2. Complications: Roth net mucosal trauma in 50%; no others occurred. The available recording apparatus was inappropriate for those <3 years. Indications: gastrointestinal bleeding: n = 30 (16 positive findings: four ulcerative jejunitis, four polyps, two angiodysplasia, two blue rubber blebs, two Meckel's diverticula, one anastomotic ulcer, one reduplication); suspected Crohn's disease: n = 20 (11 had Crohn's disease); abdominal pain: n = 12 (six positive findings: three Crohn's disease, two lymphonodular hyperplasia, one blue rubber bleb); protein loss: n = 9 (four lymphangectasia); malabsorption: n = 12 (seven positive findings: six enteropathy, one ascaris). No abnormalities overall: 45%. Conclusion: WCE is feasible and safe down to the age of 1.5 years. 20 children >4 years swallowed the capsule. The Advance introducer proved superior for endoscopic placement. The pathologies encountered showed age specificity and, unlike in adolescents, obscure gastrointestinal bleeding was the commonest indication.
Fritscher-Ravens, A., Scherbakov, P., Bufler, P., Torroni, F., Ruuska, T., Nuutinen, H., ... Milla, P. (2009). The feasibility of wireless capsule endoscopy in detecting small intestinal pathology in children under the age of 8 years: A multicentre European study. Gut, 58(11), 1467-1472. https://doi.org/10.1136/gut.2009.177774