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Mayo Clinic Finds Capsule Endoscopy Can Detect Intestinal Damage Caused by Celiac Disease
Date:2/27/2008

Study shows extent of intestinal damage does not explain patients' symptoms

ROCHESTER, Minn., Feb. 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Mayo Clinic researchers have found that capsule endoscopy can provide a magnified view of the intestinal damage caused by celiac disease. This new information can help physicians detect and diagnose celiac disease, as well as measure intestinal healing following treatment. These findings are published in this month's issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Approximately 3 million Americans, or about one in 100 people, are affected by celiac disease. Individuals who have celiac disease are intolerant to proteins (collectively called gluten) found in wheat, barley and rye grains. In these people, gluten stimulates an immune reaction in the small intestine, which causes intestinal damage and the subsequent inability to absorb certain nutrients from food. Treatment is to avoid foods containing gluten (the so-called gluten-free diet). Untreated, celiac disease can cause many medical complications and increase the risk of death. However, when a medically supervised diet plan is implemented, patients can experience almost complete reversal of symptoms and complications from the disease.

"Capsule endoscopy allows us to look at the entire 30 feet of the small intestine, not just the first one to two feet that can be visualized with other types of endoscopy," says Joseph Murray, M.D., the study's lead author and a gastroenterologist at Mayo Clinic.

The capsule is approximately the size of a large vitamin, and it includes a miniature color video camera, light, battery and transmitter. The patient swallows the capsule, which takes approximately eight hours to move through the small intestine. As the capsule moves through the digestive tract, images recorded by the video camera are transmitted to a number of sensors attached to the patient's torso and recorded digitally on a device worn around the p
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SOURCE Mayo Clinic
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