Open Access Open Badges Research article

Capsule colonoscopy increases uptake of colorectal cancer screening

Stefan Groth12, Horst Krause12, Rainer Behrendt12, Helge Hill12, Michael Börner12, Murat Bastürk12, Nora Plathner12, Friedrich Schütte12, Ulrich Gauger12, Jürgen Ferdinand Riemann12, Lutz Altenhofen12 and Thomas Rösch123*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Interdisciplinary Endoscopy, University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf, Regional Hospital, Hamburg, Germany

2 Private Gastroenterology Offices Rinteln, BKK 24 Medical Insurance, Obernkirchen, LebensBlicke Foundation for the Prevention of Colon Cancer, Ludwigshafen, Central Research Institute of Ambulatory Health Care, Berlin, Germany

3 Department of Interdisciplinary Endoscopy, University Hospital Hamburg Eppendorf, Martinistr. 52, 20246, Hamburg, Germany

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BMC Gastroenterology 2012, 12:80  doi:10.1186/1471-230X-12-80

Published: 26 June 2012



Screening colonoscopy effectiveness is hampered by limited adherence by the general population. The present prospective study was performed to evaluate whether adding capsule colonoscopy to the endoscopic screening options increases uptake.


Invitation letters were sent to 2150 persons above the age of 55 insured with a German medical insurance company in the area of Rinteln, Lower Saxony with a baseline spontaneous annual screening colonoscopy uptake of 1 %. Both capsule or conventional colonoscopy were offered. Interested persons were given information about the two screening options by four local gastroenterologists and examinations were then performed according to screenees’ final choice.


154 persons sought further information, and 34 and 90 underwent conventional and capsule colonoscopy, respectively. Colonoscopy uptake was thus increased by the invitation process by 60 % (1.6 % vs. 1 %; p = 0.075), while the option of capsule endoscopy led to a fourfold increase of screening uptake (4.2 % vs. 1 %, p < 0.001). Despite similar age distribution in both sex groups, uptake in men was significantly higher (5.6 % vs. 2.8 %, p = 002). However, overall adenoma yield was not different in both groups.


The present study suggests that offering the option of capsule colonoscopy increases uptake of endoscopic colorectal cancer screening. However, capsule endoscopy sensitivity for adenoma detection needs to be improved.

Screening colonoscopy; Uptake; Capsule colonoscopy; Patient acceptability