Visual criteria in small bowel tumors detected by capsule endoscopy - morphological description and correlations with histological type

Vol. 60 No. 1, 2019


Ana-Maria Singeap, Anca Trifan, Catalin Sfarti, Stefan Chiriac, Laura Huiban, Carol Stanciu, Mihai Danciu

Introduction: Small bowel tumors (SBTs) are rare. The advent of small bowel capsule endoscopy (SBCE) revolutionized the diagnosis of small bowel pathology, the SBCE major breakthrough consequently doubled the diagnostic rate of SBTs. Being a visual technique, without ability to take biopsies, SBCE has limitations in the diagnostic work-up of SBTs. Aim: To assess if structured visual description of SBTs detected by SBCE correlates with the histological type. Patients, Materials and Methods: We included patients with SBTs, evaluated by SBCE and furthermore explored, for which a final histopathological diagnosis was made, either on biopsy tissue samples, or on surgical specimens, using routine techniques and immunohistochemistry. The SBCE findings and reports were reviewed in order to assess the main macroscopic features of the SBTs, which were further correlated with the histological type. Results: SBTs frequency at SBCE was 5.2%. All SBTs presented as protruding lesions. Features as size, color, type, shape, discoloration, presence of mucosa ulceration, bleeding stigmata or potential, contributed outlining a prototype. SBCE was accurate in terms of localization and suspected diagnosis. Conclusions: Even if SBCE is a purely visual technique, thorough examination and rigorous analysis of macroscopic features, as well as adoption of a structured terminology, may successfully predict the final diagnosis, empowering SBCE not only as a trust comrade in the diagnostic pathways of SBTs, but also as a valuable standalone technique mandating the final therapeutic decision.

Corresponding author: Anca Trifan, Professor, MD, PhD, FRCP; e-mail:

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