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World J Gastroenterol. 2008 Jul 14;14(26):4142-5.

The future of wireless capsule endoscopy.

Author information

1
Department of Surgical Oncology and Technology, London University (Imperial College), St Maryos Hospital, 41 Willow Road, London NW3 1TN, United Kingdom. paulswain1@compuserve.com

Abstract

We outline probable and possible developments with wireless capsule endoscopy. It seems likely that capsule endoscopy will become increasingly effective in diagnostic gastrointestinal endoscopy. This will be attractive to patients especially for cancer or varices detection because capsule endoscopy is painless and is likely to have a higher take up rate compared to conventional colonoscopy and gastroscopy. Double imager capsules with increased frame rates have been used to image the esophagus for Barrett's and esophageal varices. The image quality is not bad but needs to be improved if it is to become a realistic substitute for flexible upper and lower gastrointestinal endoscopy. An increase in the frame rate, angle of view, depth of field, image numbers, duration of the procedure and improvements in illumination seem likely. Colonic, esophageal and gastric capsules will improve in quality, eroding the supremacy of flexible endoscopy, and become embedded into screening programs. Therapeutic capsules will emerge with brushing, cytology, fluid aspiration, biopsy and drug delivery capabilities. Electrocautery may also become possible. Diagnostic capsules will integrate physiological measurements with imaging and optical biopsy, and immunologic cancer recognition. Remote control movement will improve with the use of magnets and/or electrostimulation and perhaps electromechanical methods. External wireless commands will influence capsule diagnosis and therapy and will increasingly entail the use of real-time imaging. However, it should be noted that speculations about the future of technology in any detail are almost always wrong.

PMID:
18636658
PMCID:
PMC2725374
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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