Magnetically guided video capsule for stomach examination
4 Nov 2010
Siemens Healthcare and Olympus Medical Systems have developed
a magnetically guided capsule endoscope (MGCE) system that enables
examination of the stomach more comfortably than using traditional
The patient swallows a capsule and lies inside a donut-shaped
magnet so that the capsule can be moved through the stomach by
magnetism. The capsule transmits images of the stomach that a doctor
can view onscreen.
The system consists of:
- the 31x11mm capsule, which contains a video camera at each
end, a transmitter, battery and a magnet;
- a donut-shaped magnetic guidance system that the patient
lies inside after swallowing the capsule;
- an image processing system to display the images from the
capsule live onsceen; and
- a guidance information system that enables the doctor to
control the movement of the capsule by joystick.
The patient swallows the capsule and is positioned in the
magnetic guidance system so that the stomach including the capsule
is located in the centre of the magnetic field.
A patient enters the magnetic guidance system
The doctor uses the joystick to control the magnetic field to
navigate the capsule in the stomach. The cameras at both ends of the
capsule transmit images from inside the stomach to the image
processing system where the doctor can view the images on screens.
A doctor controls the capsule and views images
Diagram showing how the capsule can be
navigated in the stomach
A feasibility study of the MGCE system has been performed at the
Institute Arnault Tzanck in Saint Laurent du Var (France) by Dr
Jean-Francois Rey and his colleagues. The study, published in the
journal Endoscopy , showed that the new technology
appears to be feasible and sufficiently accurate for gastric
examination and may permit endoscopic examinations that are more
patient-friendly and without sedation.
“The magnetically guided capsule system provides reliable results
for gastrointestinal endoscopic examinations compared to
conventional endoscopy. The capsule enables much less invasive
stomach examinations. It means an enormous boost in acceptability
for the patient," concluded Dr. Jean-Francois Rey.
The study participants were equally enthusiastic, with 93% saying
the examination was comfortable and 89% found it easy to swallow the
capsule. All patients questioned preferred the magnetically guided
capsule endoscope over conventional gastrointestinal endoscopy.
1. Rey JF, et al.
Feasibility of stomach
exploration with a guided capsule endoscope. Endoscopy 2010