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A Journal on Nephrology and Urology

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Minerva Urologica e Nefrologica 2005 March;57(1):61-9

language: English, Italian

Wireless capsule endoscopy in the diagnostic of small intestine angiodysplasia in chronic uremic patient

Brümmer U. 1, Cappelli P. 1, Laterza F. 2, Di Liberato L. 1, Sirolli V. 1, Milano A. 2, Mastrippolito S. 1, D’Arezzo M. 1, Muscianese P. 1, Amoroso L. 1, Neri M. 2, Bonomini M. 1

1 Institute of Nephrology, SS. Annunziata University Hospital, Chieti, Italy
2 Unit of Digestive Endoscopy SS. Annunziata University Hospital, Chieti, Italy


Gastroenteric bleeding due to angiodysplasia (AD) is a relatively common occurrence in patients with end-stage renal failure. Gastric and colon angiodysplasic lesions can be easily revealed by endoscopic procedures, whereas lesions of the small intestine are more difficult to detect. Imaging modalities used in the diagnostic imaging algorithm for the detection of small-bowel AD, include non-invasive methods like enema-helical computer tomography, 99mTc-labelled red blood cell scintigraphy, and angiography, and invasive methods such as intraoperative enteroscopy. We report the cases of 3 hemodialysis patients with recurrent episodes of gastrointestinal bleeding, caused by small-bowel AD diagnosed by means of wireless-capsule endoscopy. In all cases, previous gastroscopy and colonscopy were unrevealing. Wireless-capsule endoscopy consists in swallowing a capsule endoscope (11 mm×27 mm) which contains a miniature video camera, a light source, batteries, and a radio transmitter. Video images are transmitted by means of radio telemetry to aerials taped to the body that allow images to be captured. Moving images from a period as long as 6 h are stored on a portable recorder. Wireless-capsule endoscopy may prove valuable in the assessment of gastrointestinal bleeding in uremic patients with unrevealing results at gastroscopy and colonscopy.

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