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Additional information obtained from mucosal biopsies is limited after pan-enteric capsule endoscopy in patients with suspected Crohn's disease.

Background and study aims Pan-enteric capsule endoscopy (CE) is an emerging alternative to ileo-colonoscopy for diagnosing Crohn's disease (CD). However, CE does not offer the opportunity to take biopsies to support the diagnosis. This study examined the additional information obtained with mucosal biopsies and the feasibility of CE as a single diagnostic procedure. Patients and methods This retrospective study was based on a prospective, blind multicenter trial in which patients with suspected CD were examined with ileo-colonoscopy plus segmental biopsies and CE. Histopathological findings were compared to the result of CE. Results A total of 107 patients with a complete CE were included in the analysis. CE was consistent with CD in 44 patients (41.1%) and ulcerative colitis in 10 patients (9.3%). Histopathology confirmed the result of CE in 39.3% of patients and added new diagnostic information in 6.5% of patients. A CE consistent with CD was histologically confirmed in 20.5% of patients. Biopsies most often showed non-specific inflammation (61.4%). Only one patient with a normal CE had a specific histological diagnosis (microscopic colitis). Biopsies altered the diagnosis of ulcerative colitis to CD in two patients, and in two patients with a normal CE, biopsies showed CD or ulcerative colitis. In one patient with lymphoma in the terminal ileum and cecum, CE was misinterpreted as CD. Conclusions In patients with suspected CD and an evident result of CE, the additional information obtained from biopsies is limited, and CE as a single diagnostic procedure might be feasible in selected patients. Biopsies are warranted, however, in patients with an atypical endoscopic appearance or suspected malignancy.

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