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Open Access Research article

Diagnosing celiac disease by video capsule endoscopy (VCE) when esophogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) and biopsy is unable to provide a diagnosis: a case series

Matthew S Chang1, Moshe Rubin2, Suzanne K Lewis1 and Peter H Green1*

Author Affiliations

1 Celiac Disease Center, Division of Digestive and Liver Diseases, Department of Medicine, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY, USA

2 Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Medicine, New York Hospital Queens, Weill Cornell Medical College, Flushing, NY, USA

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BMC Gastroenterology 2012, 12:90  doi:10.1186/1471-230X-12-90

Published: 19 July 2012

Abstract

Background

Video capsule endoscopy (VCE) is mainly used to evaluate patients with celiac disease in whom their course after diagnosis has been unfavorable and the diagnosis of adenocarcinoma, lymphoma or refractory celiac disease is entertained, but it has been suggested that VCE could replace esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) and biopsy under certain circumstances.

Methods

We report a single center case series of 8 patients with suspected celiac disease who were diagnosed by VCE.

Results

EGD and biopsy had been performed in 4 patients resulting in a negative biopsy, declined by 2, and contraindicated in 2 due to hemophilia and von Willebrand disease. In all patients, mucosal changes of scalloping, mucosal mosaicism and reduced folds were seen in either the duodenum or jejunum on VCE. Follow-up in 7 patients demonstrated improvement in either their serological abnormalities or their presenting clinical features on a gluten-free diet.

Conclusions

Our case series demonstrates that VCE and the visualization of the characteristic mucosal changes of villous atrophy may replace biopsy as the mode of diagnosis when EGD is either declined or contraindicated, or when duodenal biopsies are negative and there remains a high index of suspicion. Further study is needed to clarify the role and cost of diagnosing celiac disease with VCE.

Keywords:
Gluten-free diet; Duodenum; Small intestine; Diagnostic techniques; Contraindications