Background & Aims. Capsule endoscopy (CE) is an established tool for the investigation of the small intestine. The Food and Drug Administration, Given Imaging and Olympus have not recommended the use of capsule endoscopy in patients with cardiac pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs). The aim of this retrospective study was to investigate the safety of capsule endoscopy systems (Given Imaging and Olympus) when applied in patients with different types of pacemakers/ICDs in vivo.

Methods. A standardized questionnaire was sent to high volume centers in Germany and in Austria. The questionnaire covered the age and gender of the examined patients, indication of CE, brand and type of CE, brand and model of pacemaker/ICD, check of the devices before and after CE, monitoring during CE, possible interference between CE and cardiac pacemakers/ICDs and possible adverse events during CE.

Results. Data from 62 patients were retrieved for this study. Capsules used were Given Imaging (n=58; M2A, M2Aplus, PillCam SB2), Olympus EndoCapsule (n=3), Given PillCam Colon (n=1). The collective included patients with pacemakers/ICDS from seven brands (Biotronik, Medtronic, St. Jude Medical, Guidant, Boston Scientific, Ela Sorin, Vitatron) with a total of 19/8 (pacemaker/ICD) different types. In two patients interference between capsule endoscopy and telemetry (loss of images/gaps in video) was recorded. None of the cardiac pacemakers or ICDs was impaired in function. No clinically evident event was observed in any of these patients.

Conclusions. Clinical use of these CE types is safe in patients with cardiac pacemakers and ICDs. Interference can occur between CE and ECG-telemetry leading to loss of images or impaired quality of video.


Capsule endoscopy, cardiac pacemakers, implantable cardioverter defibrillators, safety