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A pill camera that explores the intestine

Chicago, Dec. 3 (Reuters): A pill-sized camera that can be swallowed and can explore parts of the small intestine that other diagnostic techniques miss, allows for improved detection of inflammatory bowel disorders, researchers reported today.

Researcher Amy Hara of the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona, said tests on 52 patients using the camera — a technique called capsule endoscopy — did a far better job of detecting bowel abnormalities than did computed tomography in conjunction with ingested barium, a standard method known as CT.

In a report released at the annual scientific assembly of the Radiological Society of North America, Hara said the camera shows the most promise for diagnostics if used with CT.

“As the camera tumbles through the intestine, you don’t know exactly where the mass is located. CT by contrast provides a very good global view of the body and specialised parameters can be employed to localise lesions,” she said.

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