BACKGROUND AND AIMS:
Upper gastrointestinal bleeding (UGIB) still constitutes one of the major hospital admissions through emergency departments (EDs). This feasibility study aims to test whether capsule endoscopy can reduce unnecessary hospital admissions in patients with suspected UGIB.
This was a prospective randomized controlled trial in which patients who presented with symptoms or signs suggestive of UGIB were randomized to receive either standard treatment (ST) of hospital management or receive capsule endoscopy (CE), after which hospital admission was determined by the findings of CE. Patients were also graded by Glasgow Blatchford score (GBS) at the ED for assessment of need of hospital admission.
A total of 71 patients fulfilled the recruitment criteria with 37 subjects enrolled into the CE group and 34 subjects into the ST group. Seven CE patients with active bleeding or significant endoscopic findings were admitted to the hospital compared with the ST group in which all 34 patients were admitted. There was no difference in the clinical outcome in terms of recurrent bleeding and 30-day mortality. Hospital admission was also greatly reduced if CE instead of GBS was used to triage patients at ED.
This feasibility study shows that capsule endoscopy offers a safe and effective method in triaging patients presenting with symptoms of upper GI bleeding that do not require hospital admission.