Popular procedures evaluated for diagnostic accuracy and treatment effectiveness

CHICAGO, IL (May 15, 2005) -- A number of new technologies are helpful in diagnosing and treating gastric disorders, while others need more testing, according to new research presented today at Digestive Disease Week 2005 (DDW). DDW is the largest international gathering of physicians and researchers in the fields of gastroenterology, hepatology, endoscopy and gastrointestinal surgery.

"We continue to see promising new technologies in gastroenterology that are providing significant improvements in quality of life for patients," said Richard Rothstein, M.D., of Dartmouth Medical School. "At the same time, we are evaluating the effectiveness of some procedures in an effort to streamline the treatment of the most widespread gastrointestinal diseases. The overall goal is to maximize the potential of the best procedures for early detection and treatment."

A Prospective Trial Comparing Wireless Capsule Endoscopy and Barium Contrast Series for Small Bowel Surveillance in Hereditary Polyposis Syndromes (Abstract M1368)

Wireless capsule endoscopy, a procedure involving a tiny pill camera, is relatively new and has demonstrated its effectiveness in assessing various conditions in the small intestine. Traditional procedures to identify polyps have included barium contrasts, in which X-ray images are taken after reflective liquid is inserted into the small intestine. In this head-to-head comparison, researchers found the wireless capsule technology performed significantly better than traditional barium X-rays in accurately identifying polyps in the small intestine.

The study examined 24 patients with gastrointestinal diseases using both procedures to locate polyps in the small intestine, recording the number and location of all polyps discovered. The wireless capsule technology identified polyps in seven of the patients, while the barium contrasts found polyps in only three. The polyps in the four patients identified only by the wir


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