Sham Feeding with Bacon Does Not Alter Transit Time or Complete Examination Rate During Small Bowel Capsule Endoscopy

David Prichard, George Ou, Cherry Galorport, Robert Enns

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: During capsule endoscopy (CE) studies, the complete examination rate (CER) can be increased by prolonging capsule battery life or reducing gastric transit time (GTT) and/or small bowel transit time (SBTT). However, despite enhanced battery life, 10% of studies remain incomplete. Previously studied interventions to reduce SBTT and enhance CER have produced conflicting results. We hypothesize that this may be a consequence of an insufficiently potent stimulus of small bowel motility. Aims: To examine whether potent stimulation of the cephalic response of digestion during small bowel CE reduces GTT and/or SBTT and thus increases the CER. Methods: A single-blind randomized trial was performed to evaluate the effect of bacon sham feeding on GTT, SBTT and CER. Results: Baseline characteristics were similar between 63 sham fed patients and 59 controls. The median GTT was 17 min (9–65) in the bacon group and 25 min (14–55) in the control group. The median SBTT was 199 min (119–316) and 222 min (151–287), respectively. Cox proportional hazards model demonstrated no significant difference between groups for GTT (rate ratio 1.03, 95% CI 0.71–1.51, P = 0.87) or SBTT (rate ratio 1.02, 95% CI 0.70–1.49, P = 0.93). Although the taste of bacon was considered favorably by 72% of participants, taste did not correlate with GTT (ρ = 0.03, P = 0.83) or SBTT (ρ = − 0.115, P = 0.33). The CER was 91 and 95% in the bacon and control groups, respectively (P = 0.35). Conclusion: Bacon sham feeding has no effect on GTT, SBTT or CER and cannot be recommended in clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)422-428
Number of pages7
JournalDigestive diseases and sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018


  • Capsule endoscopy
  • Cephalic phase of digestion
  • Complete examination rate
  • Gastric transit time
  • Sham feeding
  • Small bowel transit time

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Gastroenterology


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