Colon capsule endoscopy: an innovative method for detecting colorectal pathology during the Covid-19 pandemic?

C. MacLeod, P. Wilson, A. J. M. Watson* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Aim The coronavirus pandemic has led to significant challenges for healthcare delivery across the globe. Non-emergency endoscopic activity in the UK has been postponed, raising concerns of increased delays in the diagnosis of colorectal cancer and a surge in demand once services resume. Measures to mitigate this risk must be considered.
Method This paper reviews various investigative modalities for colorectal disease which could be deployed during cessation of colonoscopy services. We focus on
colon capsule endoscopy (CCE) due to its relevance during the COVID-19 pandemic and its ability to triage patients effectively to further endoscopic investigations.
Results CT of the abdomen and pelvis has been suggested as a triage tool while access to colonoscopy is limited. However, CT may lead to the spread of
COVID-19 as patients attend the hospital, and it exposes them to the risks of radiation. Faecal immunochemistry tests have been demonstrated as a good predictor of colonic pathology and could be safely used to risk stratify patients when prioritizing colonoscopy. CCE is a safe and innovative technology for investigating the colon. Procedures can be carried out in the community and can be conducted safely during the coronavirus pandemic. It has been shown to be an accurate detector of colonic neoplasia and can reduce demand for colonoscopy.
Conclusion As colonoscopy services resume, they will probably experience high demand leading to further delays for patients. CCE could be used to reduce the number of patients requiring colonoscopy and triage those requiring further endoscopic investigations appropriately.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)621-624
Number of pages4
JournalColorectal Disease
Issue number6
Early online date2 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020


  • Colon Capsule Endoscopy
  • colonoscopy
  • COVID-19
  • Immunochemistry/methods
  • Pandemics
  • Humans
  • Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology
  • Colonoscopy/methods
  • Triage/methods
  • Colorectal Neoplasms/diagnosis
  • Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology
  • Betacoronavirus
  • Occult Blood
  • Capsule Endoscopy/methods
  • CT


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