The role of video capsule endoscopy in the diagnosis of celiac disease: a meta-analysis

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Video capsule endoscopy (VCE) is an attractive and patient friendly tool that provides high quality images of the small bowel. The reported yield of VCE in diagnosing celiac disease (CD) has shown variable results.


The aim of this study was to assess the accuracy of VCE by pooling data of existing trials.


Meta-analysis. The fixed-effects or random-effects model was used as appropriate, based on whether homogeneity or heterogeneity, respectively, was indicated by the Cochran Q-test.


Studies that estimated the accuracy of VCE were identified. The two investigators independently conducted the search and data extraction. A total of 166 individuals were included in this meta-analysis.


An extensive literature search was performed and studies that estimated the accuracy of VCE in CD were identified. The two investigators independently conducted the search and data extraction. Data from the eligible studies were collected and pooled; sensitivity, specificity, likelihood ratios, and diagnostic odds ratios were computed. In addition, the results of the individual studies were displayed in a receiver operating characteristic (ROC) space to illustrate the distribution of sensitivities and specificities. A weighted symmetric summary ROC curve was computed and the area under the curve (AUC) was calculated, with perfect tests having an AUC of 1 and poor tests having an AUC close to 0.5.


Out of 461 titles initially generated by the literature searches, six studies met the inclusion criteria and were eligible for meta-analysis. The overall pooled VCE sensitivity was 89% [95% confidence interval (82–94%)] and specificity was 95% [95% confidence interval (89–98%)]. The AUC under the weighted symmetric summary ROC was 0.9584.


The results of this meta-analysis mean that VCE, although it is not as accurate as pathology, could be a reasonable alternative method of diagnosing CD. Hopefully, this method will expand the portfolio of diagnostic methods available, especially in patients unwilling to undergo gastroscopy because of its perceived inconvenience and discomfort. However, larger, multicenter, and well-designed trials are needed to further establish the role of VCE in the diagnosis of CD.

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