OBJECTIVE: To assess the feasibility, safety, accuracy, and acceptability of "string-capsule endoscopy" in the evaluation of esophageal varices. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Strings were attached to the wireless capsule endoscopy device to allow its controlled movement up and down the esophagus. Time of recording and discomfort associated with the procedure was documented. Patient's preference compared to conventional esophago-gastro-duodenoscopy (EGD) was recorded. An independent endoscopist blinded to EGD diagnoses assessed the diagnostic accuracy of pictures obtained. RESULTS: Thirty patients with clinical liver cirrhosis (mean age: 54.4 yr; mean MELD score: 12.5, and mean Child-Pugh score: 6.3) were enrolled; 19 for surveillance and 11 for screening purposes. The procedure was safe (no strings were disrupted and no capsule was lost). The mean recording time was 5.8 min (2.9-8.7), the accuracy 96.7%, and discomfort was minimal. The majority (83.3%) of patients preferred string-capsule endoscopy to EGD. CONCLUSIONS: String-capsule endoscopy was feasible, safe, accurate, highly acceptable, and preferred by cirrhotic patients undergoing screening/surveillance of esophageal varices. The technique may prove to be more cost effective than conventional EGD.
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