A novel bedside swallowed optical sensor for detection of upper GI bleeding

Post written by Andrew C. Storm, MD, Director of Endoscopy, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA.


GI bleeding is among the most common admitting diagnoses within gastroenterology. Most GI bleeding occurs in the upper GI tract along a spectrum of severity ranging from massive variceal hemorrhage through mild or self-limited oozing associated with benign gastritis.

Without a “window” into the GI tract, the burden of triaging bleeding patients for urgent endoscopic evaluation can be overwhelming, and risk stratification tools based on patient parameters are imperfect and infrequently used.

Ideally, a device that improves our ability to rule in acute active bleeding in the upper GI tract would help patients and their doctors decide on timely endoscopic evaluation and treatment.

In our video in our manuscript focusing on 2 unique patient presentations, lead author Dr Tala Mahmoud nicely demonstrates the PillSense device (EnteraSense, Galway, Ireland), which is yet to be clinically available in the United States.

The study presents a positive PillSense result in a patient determined on subsequent endoscopic examination to have active variceal bleeding as well as a negative result in a patient without active or recent upper GI bleeding on endoscopy.

This swallowed optical sensor, under evaluation at the Mayo Clinic Developmental Endoscopy Unit, detects various wavelengths of light to determine the presence of blood in the upper GI tract. The role this device will play in clinical practice has yet to be determined but may include emergency department or clinic deployment to assist in the triage of patients presenting with symptoms of upper GI bleeding. 


The disposable swallowed optical sensor capsule.

Read the full article online.

The information presented in Endoscopedia reflects the opinions of the authors and does not represent the position of the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE). ASGE expressly disclaims any warranties or guarantees, expressed or implied, and is not liable for damages of any kind in connection with the material, information, or procedures set forth.

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s