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Rev Esp Enferm Dig. 2018 Mar;110(3):155-159. doi: 10.17235/reed.2017.5071/2017.

Capsule endoscopy with PillCamSB2 versus PillCamSB3: has the improvement in technology resulted in a step forward?

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Gastroenterology, Hospital da Senhora da Oliveira, Portugal.
Hospital da Senhora da Oliveira.



To compare the findings and completion rate of PillCam® SB2 and SB3.


This was a retrospective single-center study that included 357 consecutive small bowel capsule endoscopies (SBCE), 173 SB2 and 184 SB3. The data collected included age, gender, capsule type (PillCam® SB2 or SB3), quality of bowel preparation, completion of the examination, gastric and small bowel transit time, small bowel findings, findings in segments other than the small bowel and the detection of specific anatomical markers, such as the Z line and papilla.


The mean age of the patients was 48 years and 66.9% were female. The two main indications were suspicion/staging of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and obscure gastrointestinal bleeding (OGIB) (43.7% and 40.3%, respectively). Endoscopic findings were reported in 76.2% of examinations and 53.5% were relevant findings. No significant differences were found between SB2 and SB3 with regard to completion rate (93.6% vs 96.2%, p = 0.27), overall endoscopic findings (73.4% vs 78.8%, p = 0.23), relevant findings (54.3% vs 52.7%, p = 0.76), first tertile findings (43.9% vs 48.9%, p = 0.35), extra-SB findings (23.7% vs 17.3%, p = 0.14), Z line and papilla detection rate (35.9% vs 35.7%, p = 0.97 and 27.1% vs 32.6%, p = 0.32, respectively). With regard to the patient subgroups with suspicion/staging of IBD, significant differences were found in relation to the detection of villous edema and the 3rd tertile findings, thus favoring SB3 (26.3% vs 43.8%, p = 0.02 and 47.4% vs 66.3%, p = 0.02, respectively). Mucosal atrophy was significantly more frequently diagnosed with the PillCam® SB3 in patients with anemia/OGIB (0% vs 8%, p = 0.03).


Overall, PillCam® SB3 did not improve the diagnostic yield compared to SB2, although it improved the detection of villous atrophy and segmental edema.

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