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New wireless imaging test identified the cause of gastrointestinal bleeding in majority of patients

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (May 20, 2002, 8:00 a.m, PST) Researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center report that a new imaging test identified the cause of gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding in the majority of patients unable to be diagnosed with conventional imaging methods. The test involves swallowing a tiny camera-in-a-capsule that takes constant color pictures as it passes through the GI tract. The findings, presented at the annual meeting of Digestive Disease Week 2002 in San Francisco, may enable physicians to diagnose and treat the cause of GI bleeding at the outset of patients symptoms.

We found the cause of bleeding in the majority of our difficult-to-diagnose patients, enabling us to offer more effective treatment options sooner rather than later, said Simon K. Lo, the lead investigator of the study and Director of the Interventional Endoscopy program at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

GI bleeds can occur due to ulcers, broken blood vessels, tumors, and diseases of the small intestine such as Crohns disease. However, conventional imaging tests often fail to find the source of the bleed because they cannot extend throughout the length of the entire small intestine. For example, upper endoscopic procedures can only visualize about the first third of the small intestine an organ which is 15-20 feet long while colonoscopy can only see the last three or four feet. The video capsule (produced by Given Imaging, Ltd.), on the other hand, was engineered to view most of the GI tract via a wireless endoscopic approach. About the size of a large megavitamin, the capsule contains a camera, light source, radio transmitter and battery and works by transmitting pictures of the small intestine to a wireless recorder that the patient wears on a belt. Patients swallow the capsule in the morning and the images are downloaded to a computer where they can be read six to eight hours later.

In the study, the investigators examined the imaging studies of 37
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Contact: Kelli Stauning
kelli.stauning@cshs.org
310-423-3674
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
20-May-2002


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