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Therap Adv Gastroenterol. 2012 Jul;5(4):249-60. doi: 10.1177/1756283X12437874.

Evaluation of regional and whole gut motility using the wireless motility capsule: relevance in clinical practice.

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Pediatric GI, Massachusetts General Hospital for Children, Boston, MA, USA.


The wireless motility capsule (WMC) is an ambulatory noninvasive and nonradioactive diagnostic sensor that continuously samples intraluminal pH, temperature, and pressure as it moves through the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. This review summarizes the data obtained in clinical trials with the WMC and discusses its role in clinical practice. The United States Food and Drug Administration has approved the SmartPill GI monitoring system for the evaluation of gastric emptying time in patients with suspected gastroparesis, the evaluation of colonic transit time in patients with suspected chronic constipation, and for the characterization of pressure profiles from the antrum and duodenum. Clinical studies have shown that WMC-measured GI transit times can distinguish patients with motility abnormalities similarly to conventional testing. However, the WMC offers the advantage of providing a full GI-tract profile, enabling the detection of multiregional GI transit abnormalities in patients with suspected upper or lower GI dysmotility. The WMC also characterizes pressure profiles of the GI tract and impaired pressure profile limits are reported for the antrum and duodenum. In comparison with manometry, interpretations of pressure measurements obtained by the WMC are limited by an inability to detect a peristaltic pressure wave front, and further investigation is required to develop clinical applications. Clinical studies with the WMC indicated that it should be considered for the evaluation of regional and whole gut transit time in patients with suspected upper or lower dysmotility, particularly if there are concerns about multiregional dysmotility.


constipation; diffuse gastrointestinal dysmotility; gastroparesis; transit time; wireless motility capsule

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