Unexplained iron deficiency anaemia: Is it worthwhile to perform capsule endoscopy?

Maria Elena Riccioni, Riccardo Urgesi, Cristiano Spada, Rossella Cianci, Giorgio Pelecca, Alessandra Bizzotto, Guido Costamagna

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaEditoriale in rivista / quotidiano

37 Citazioni (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: In around 30% of iron deficiency anaemia (IDA) cases a definite diagnosis cannot be made. AIM: To investigate the role of capsule endoscopy (CE) in detecting lesions in patients with unexplained IDA after a negative endoscopic, serologic and haematologic diagnostic work up and its possible role in influencing clinical outcome. METHODS: 138 patients suffering from IDA were identified among 650 consecutive patients undergoing CE at our unit. RESULTS: CE revealed the following positive findings in 91/138 patients: angiodysplasias in 51 patients; jejunal and/or ileal micro-ulcerations in 12; tumours/polyps in 9; erosive gastritis in 4; Crohn's disease in 5; jejunal villous atrophy in 5; a solitary ileal ulcer in 1 and active bleeding in the last 4 patients. Follow up data were available for 80/91 patients (87.9%). In 15 out of 46 patients with angiodysplasias IDA spontaneously resolved without any treatment; 9 patients required iron supplementation; 10 patients healed after lanreotide administration; APC was performed in 9 out of 46 patients and 3 patients underwent regular blood transfusion without any success on IDA. 10 out of the 12 patients with small bowel micro-ulcers spontaneously recovered from IDA whilst 2 patients after iron supplementation. All 9 patients affected by tumours/polyps were surgically addressed. In all erosive gastritis cases, patients recovered from IDA after PPI and Helicobacter pylori eradication. Four patients with Crohn's disease diagnosis restored to health with medical therapy. One out of the 4 patients with jejunal villous atrophy and the sole patient with a solitary ileal ulcer spontaneously healed. In 1 out of 3 patients with active bleeding IDA resolved without further treatment after blood transfusion whilst 2 patients were referred for surgical treatment. At follow up, complete resolution of IDA was achieved in 96.25%. CONCLUSIONS: Small bowel investigation is a matter of great importance in IDA patients after negative upper and lower gastrointestinal endoscopy. Copyright © 2010 Editrice Gastroenterologica Italiana S.r.l. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)560-566
Numero di pagine7
RivistaDigestive and Liver Disease
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2010


  • anemia
  • capsule endoscopy


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