Open Access Research article

Capsule endoscopy with flexible spectral imaging color enhancement reduces the bile pigment effect and improves the detectability of small bowel lesions

Eiji Sakai1, Hiroki Endo1*, Shingo Kato1, Tetsuya Matsuura2, Wataru Tomeno2, Leo Taniguchi2, Takashi Uchiyama2, Yasuo Hata2, Eiji Yamada1, Hidenori Ohkubo1, Takuma Higrashi1, Kunihiro Hosono1, Hirokazu Takahashi1 and Atsushi Nakajima1

Author Affiliations

1 Gastroenterology Division, Yokohama City University School of Medicine, 3-9 Fuku-ura, Kanazawa-ku, Yokohama, 236-0004, Japan

2 Gastroenterology Division, Chigasaki City Hospital, Chigasaki, Japan

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BMC Gastroenterology 2012, 12:83  doi:10.1186/1471-230X-12-83

Published: 2 July 2012



Capsule endoscopy with flexible spectral imaging color enhancement (CE-FICE) has been reported to improve the visualization and detection of small-bowel lesions, however, its clinical usefulness is still not established. Therefore, we conducted a study to evaluate whether CE-FICE contributes to improve the detectability of small-bowel lesions by CE trainees.


Four gastroenterology trainees without prior CE experience were asked to read and interpret 12 CE videos. Each of the videos was read by conventional visualization method and under three different FICE settings. To evaluate whether the lesion recognition ability of the CE trainees could be improved by the FICE technology, the lesion detection rate under each of the three FICE settings was compared with that by conventional CE. CE trainees tend to miss small-bowel lesions in bile-pigment-positive condition, therefore we evaluated whether CE-FICE contributes to reducing the bile-pigment effect. The bile-pigment condition was determined by the color values around the small-bowel lesions according to the results of the receiver-operating-characteristic analysis. Moreover, we also evaluated whether poor bowel preparion might affect the accuracy of lesion recognition by CE-FICE.


Of a total of 60 angioectasias, CE trainees identified 26 by conventional CE, 40 under FICE setting 1, 38 under FICE setting 2, and 31 under FICE setting 3. Of a total of 82 erosions/ulcerations, CE trainees identified 38 by conventional CE, 62 under FICE setting 1, 60 under FICE setting 2, and 20 under FICE setting 3. Compared with conventional CE, FICE settings 1 and 2 significantly improved the detectability of angioectasia (P = 0.0017 and P = 0.014, respectively) and erosions/ulcerations (P = 0.0012 and P = 0.0094, respectively). Although the detectability of small-bowel lesions by conventional CE (P = 0.020) and under FICE setting 2 (P = 0.0023) was reduced by the presence of bile-pigments, that under FICE setting 1 was not affected (P = 0.59). Our results also revealed that in poor bowel visibility conditions, CE-FICE yielded a high rate of false-positive findings.


CE-FICE may reduce the bile-pigment effect and improve the detectability of small-bowel lesions by CE trainees; the reliability of CE-FICE may be improved by good bowel preparation.

Capsule endoscopy (CE); Computed virtual chromoendoscopy system; Flexible spectral imaging color enhancement (FICE); Small bowel