OBJECTIVES: Wireless video capsule endoscopy (CE) is a new technology that allows visualization of the entire small intestinal mucosa. It is indicated for the evaluation of obscure gastrointestinal bleeding (OGIB) and other disorders of the small intestine. Studies to date suggest that CE is safe and associated with few adverse events. A concern, which has not been studied, is the potential effect of CE on implanted cardiac devices such as implantable cardiac defibrillators (ICD) and other electromedical devices. We previously found CE to be safe in patients with cardiac pacemakers. The primary aim of this study was to evaluate the safety of CE in patients with ICDs who were being evaluated for GIB. In addition, a secondary aim of the study was to determine whether ICDs had any effect on the images captured by CE. METHODS: Patients referred for the evaluation of OGIB and who also had an ICD were enrolled into the study after informed consent. Five consecutive patients (four females and one male; mean age: 72 yr; range: 60-81 yr) with ICDs were studied. All patients had transvenous endocardial ICDs located in the chest. Prior to CE, patients had a baseline electrocardiogram (ECG) and ICD interrogation. Thereafter, CE was performed in a hospital setting with telemetry monitoring performed simultaneously. A post-procedure ICD interrogation was carried out to evaluate changes in programmed parameters. A cardiologist and ICD nurse specialist together reviewed both the telemetry monitor and the post-procedure ICD interrogation on each patient. When CE studies were reviewed, observations pertaining to technical difficulties and interference with video imaging were documented. RESULTS: No arrhythmia or other adverse cardiac events were noted during capsule transmission. No interference by the ICD on the CE video images was seen. CONCLUSIONS: CE was performed safely in these five patients with ICDs, and was not associated with any adverse cardiac events. ICDs also do not appear to interfere with video capsule imaging.
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