More than a decade has passed since small-bowel capsule endoscopy (CE) was first reported. Small-bowel CE is a non-invasive tool that allows visualization of the entire small-intestinal mucosa and facilitates detection of small-intestinal abnormalities. Several studies have shown benefit of small-bowel CE for certain disorders. Because it is non-invasive, CE has been applied to other organs including the esophagus, stomach, and colon. The main indications for esophageal CE (ECE) are screening for gastroesophageal reflux disease/Barrett's esophagus, and esophageal varices. However, the clinical benefit of ECE is unconfirmed. Magnetically guided CE (MGCE) was developed to visualize the gastric mucosa. MGCE is a new concept with room for improvement of capsule navigation and the preparation protocol. Recently, two new small-bowel CE tools were released. First-generation colon CE (CCE-1) has moderate sensitivity and specificity compared with colonoscopy for colorectal neoplasia surveillance. To obtain higher accuracy, a second-generation CCE (CCE-2) was developed with a high sensitivity for detecting clinically relevant polypoid lesions. A possible application of CCE is for inflammatory bowel disease. In the near future, CE may include diagnostic and therapeutic functions such as magnifying endoscopy systems, targeted biopsy forceps, and drug delivery systems.
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