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Am J Gastroenterol. 2006 Oct;101(10):2237-43.

Diagnosis and outcome of small bowel tumors found by capsule endoscopy: a three-center Australian experience.

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AW Morrow Gastroenterology and Liver Centre, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney, Australia.



The objective of the study was to examine diagnosis and outcome in a series of patients with small bowel tumors detected by capsule endoscopy (CE) in three Australian centers.


Review of prospectively collected data from 416 CEs identified 27 tumors in 26 patients. Clinical parameters, tumor histology, and follow-up are reported.


Twenty-seven tumors were identified in 26 patients (mean age 61 +/- 13.7 yr). Indications for CE were obscure gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding (21), suspected tumor (3), abdominal pain (1), diarrhea (1). Prior radiology found a possible lesion in 8 of 23 (35%). Nine tumors were proven benign: hamartoma (4), cystic lymphangioma (1), primary amyloid (1), lipoma (1). Two lesions were non-neoplastic: heterotopic gastric mucosa and inflammatory fibroid polyp. Seventeen tumors were malignant: five adenocarcinomas, six carcinoids, two melanoma metastases, two gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST), one colon carcinoma metastasis, one non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Tumors were surgically resected in 23 patients. Resection was considered curative in 12 (52%). Mean duration of follow-up was 26 +/- 13.7 months. Of the five patients with primary adenocarcinoma only one remains disease free. Three of the six with carcinoid tumors have had no recurrence up to 51 months postresection. Both patients with GIST are disease free. Anemia resolved after surgery in the patients with melanoma.


Small bowel tumors are a significant finding at CE and are often missed by other methods of investigation. In many patients, detection of a tumor alters management and improves outcome. Even in malignant lesions, treatment is potentially curative in the absence of metastatic disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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