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Mayo Clinic study shows people with heart devices can 'digest' advanced diagnostic technology safely
Date:10/26/2009

l records of 84 patients who underwent CE and had implantable cardiac devices cardiac pacemakers, defibrillators or left ventricular assist devices at Mayo Clinic's campuses in Arizona and Rochester, Minn.

The patients' average age was 73, and 69 percent had pacemakers. In a large majority of cases (74 percent), the reason for performing the CE was to locate gastrointestinal bleeding. In each case, the capsule explored the entire length of the small bowel. Assessments after the procedure revealed no interference with the implanted cardiac devices.

Approved by the FDA in 2000, capsule endoscopy uses a tiny wireless camera to examine the inside of the digestive tract. The patient swallows a vitamin-sized capsule containing a battery-driven camera that travels through the intestines, taking thousands of pictures. It then transmits them to an external receiver from areas deep inside the small bowel previously accessible only through surgery. The device is later excreted through the colon.

The use of capsule endoscopy has solved a long-term problem for doctors: visualizing the midsection of the small intestine, which can measure 20 feet in length. Standard endoscopy, done through the mouth or the rectum, can't penetrate deeply enough and requires anesthesia. Now, CE is used to visualize the entire small intestine. Most commonly, it is used to find the source of unexplained bleeding. The procedure is also used to detect the causes of anemia, abdominal pain and certain intestinal diseases.

Because cell phones, microwave ovens and other wireless appliances have affected heart devices, physicians were concerned that the radiofrequencies used in CE may potentially interfere with the radiofrequency of heart devices. But in the study, the only research complication occurred when a c
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Contact: Lynn Closway
closway.lynn@mayo.edu
480-301-4337
Mayo Clinic
Source:Eurekalert

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