Use of a Magnetically Assisted Capsule Device for Examining the Esophagus

Use of a Magnetically Assisted Capsule Device for Examining the Esophagus

Prateek Sharma, MD, FASGE, reviewing Beg S, et al. Gastrointest Endosc 2020 Apr.

The magnetically assisted capsule endoscopy (MACE) system (MicroCam Navi; IntroMedic) is a novel noninvasive technique for visualizing the upper GI tract. This device utilizes a magnetic capsule manipulated by an external handheld magnet. 

This prospective single-blind study was conducted to address the accuracy of MACE for the diagnosis of esophageal lesions. A total of 50 patients (17 with Barrett’s esophagus [BE], 17 with esophageal varices [EV], and 16 controls with neither) were enrolled, and 47 successfully completed both MACE and upper endoscopy. MACE was able to diagnose 11 of the 15 patients with EV (sensitivity, 73.3%; specificity, 100%) and 15 of the 16 patients with BE (sensitivity, 93.8%; specificity, 100%). Successful esophageal capture (esophageal transit time >30 seconds) was documented in 68% of patients, with a nonsignificant trend toward increased transit time with increased operator experience. Compared to upper endoscopy, patients reported less discomfort with MACE and chose it as a preferred diagnostic modality. No adverse events were reported in either group.

Prateek Sharma, MD, FASGE


While noninvasive techniques like MACE are comfortable and safe options for the diagnosis of upper GI diseases, they are still operator dependent and require endoscopy personnel to complete the examination. Future capsule designs with therapeutic capabilities might make these modalities a contender for the diagnosis and management of patients with esophageal lesions.

Note to readers: At the time we reviewed this paper, its publisher noted that it was not in final form and that subsequent changes might be made.


Beg S, Card T, Warburton S, et al.  Diagnosis of Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal varices using a magnetically assisted capsule endoscopy system. Gastrointest Endosc 2020;91:773-781.e1. (

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