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Worcester, Massachusetts 01605


The objectives of this study are to test whether there are statistically significant differences between the standard of care workup workup of non-hematemesis gastrointestinal bleeding by endoscopy [upper, lower and other tests], compared with deployment of a video capsule as the first test followed by the most appropriate endoscopic procedure based on video capsule findings, if needed. The investigators propose to examine differences in time to diagnosis, reduction in numbers of procedures, and length of stay between a standard of care workup protocol and our proposed protocol of early capsule endoscopy deployment.

Study summary:

After 40 years of considering gastrointestinal bleeding as upper or lower and largely ignoring the small intestine, there is accumulating evidence that the standard of care approach to the assessment of non-hematemesis gastrointestinal bleeding could be improved by early deployment of a video capsule (VCE) as the first diagnostic test. Currently, VCE is considered the gold standard as the diagnostic test for small intestinal bleeding. In a recent study at the University of Massachusetts (UMass) 336 patients who presented to the emergency department (ED) with complaints of gastrointestinal bleeding 36 patients (10.7%) were given a VCE during their stay. In patients with hematemesis, upper endoscopy remains the diagnostic and therapeutic modality of choice. However patients with melena and hematochezia may benefit from early VCE since both signs and symptoms provide poor localization as to the origin of bleeding. Data from this previous Umass study suggests that the ingestion of a VCE in the ED could quickly and non-invasively provide clinicians accurate data as to the origin of the bleeding. This information could provide a guide to further management of the patient. VCE is able to visualize bleeding in the esophagus, stomach, duodenum, small intestine and right colon, thereby eliminating the guess work of deciding which endoscopic approach to use. At UMass, that same study showed that of the 36 patients who received a video capsule, 26 (72.2%) had diagnostic studies (i.e. bleeding was identified). In comparison, 152 patients required upper endoscopy (of which 52.9% were diagnostic) and 64 patients required colonoscopy (of which 47% were diagnostic). Of those 26 patients with diagnostic capsule studies, 13 also required upper endoscopy, 1 required a colonoscopy, and 4 required both a colonoscopy and endoscopy. It is important to recognize, however, that often capsule studies are performed after upper endoscopy and colonoscopy and performed and are found to be negative. This sequence is the standard of care work up of bleeding. Despite being performed later in the hospital course of our patients, capsule studies have a high diagnostic yield. In reality VCE is used uncommonly in acute bleeding because it is rarely considered in the context of acute GI bleeding In this study, the investigators propose the approach of using the video capsule as the first diagnostic test prior to colonoscopy and endoscopy; this may lead to a shortened time to diagnosis, a reduction in length of stay, and a reduction in numbers of procedures due to early, accurate localization of the source of bleeding. All of these components could result in better quality of care and cost containment. Further, it is known that 80% of patients stop bleeding spontaneously. Thus the earlier they are examined the more likely the origin of the bleeding is likely to be found The use of VCE has been approved by the FDA since 2001 for small intestinal bleeding obscure GI Bleeding. It is very safe and no deaths associated with its use have been reported. More than two million capsules have been used and complications of obstruction and perforation are extremely rare. Interest in the broader use of VCE is accumulating. More recently studies of VCE deployed in the ED, in patients with upper GI bleeding showed improved management. Our group recently demonstrated that the closer a VCE is performed to the time of bleeding the higher the likelihood of locating the sources and the higher the therapeutic intervention rate. The investigators also have demonstrated that the use of capsule endoscopy in patients with non-hematemesis gastrointestinal bleeding (NHGIB) has a higher diagnostic yield than does colonoscopy. With improved diagnostic yields, capsule endoscopy may help clinicians by providing guidance in the management of patients with NHGIB. This protocol is be the first attempt to prospectively examine this concept in a large randomized prospective trial. The questions the investigators are studying are: can early capsule intervention decrease time to diagnosis, numbers of procedures and hospital length of stay in patients with non-hematemesis gastrointestinal bleeding?


Inclusion Criteria: - Age greater than 18 years old - New onset of melena or hematochezia - Able to sign consent - Hemodynamically stable (i.e. blood pressure >100/60 or pulse <110 at the time of consent) - ED must plan to admit patient to the hospital or Clinical Decision Unit. Exclusion Criteria: - Adults unable to consent - Individuals who are not yet adults (infants, children, teenagers) - Pregnant women - Prisoners - Prior history of gastroparesis - Prior history of gastric, or small bowel surgery - Prior history of Crohn's disease - Concern for infectious colitis - Non-English speaking - Evidence of dysphagia at the time of presentation - Presence of bright red blood per rectum concerning for hemorrhoids - Allergy to metoclopramide or erythromycin - Code status of Do Not Resuscitate/Do Not Intubate (DNR/DNI) or Comfort Measures Only (CMO) - Prior history of abdominal radiation - Presence of Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) or pacemaker or other implanted electronic devices - Abdominal pain suggesting an acute abdomen or obstruction. In clinical practice, only patients with crampy abdominal pain due to Crohn's disease, previous intestinal surgery and a previous history of radiation therapy require a patency capsule or CT enterography before capsule endoscopy. - Patients who cannot undergo surgery



Primary Contact:

Principal Investigator
David Cave, MD, PhD
Professor of Medicine

Backup Contact:


Location Contact:

Worcester, Massachusetts 01605
United States

There is no listed contact information for this specific location.

Site Status: N/A

Data Source: ClinicalTrials.gov

Date Processed: November 18, 2019

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