Value of the patency capsule in pre-evaluation for capsule endoscopy in cases of intestinal obstruction

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Patency capsule (PC) is a tool to screen the patency of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Capsule endoscopy can be performed after the patency is confirmed by the patency capsule. We aimed to estimate the diagnostic value of PC based on the existing trials.


We searched PubMed, CENTRAL and EMBASE for studies that included patients with suspected small bowel stricture who were evaluated by both PC and a reference standard (following capsule endoscopy and/or surgical pathology and/or endoscopic findings) and who were eligible for inclusion. The quality of the eligible studies was assessed using the Quality Assessment for Diagnostic Accuracy Studies-2 criteria. Sensitivity, specificity, likelihood ratios and the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC) were calculated.


Five studies including 203 patients fulfilled the eligibility criteria. The pooled data showed a PC sensitivity of 97% (95% CI 93–99%) and a specificity of 83% (95% CI 65–94%). The AUROC was 0.9557.


PC may be of diagnostic value in confirming the patency of the GI tract before capsule endoscopy. The routine use of PC might eliminate the contraindication of capsule endoscopy in many cases of intestinal obstruction.

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