Paul Swain, a surgeon from the London Hospital, who had joined up with them, was the first to test a prototype on himself. Many of us watched him in the act of swallowing the capsule in public or saw this event later on a video that was shown at several meetings. The outcome was the successful production of a commercially available video capsule which was soon tested in many academic hospitals with apparent success. It was not long before gastroenterologists realized that the new device could detect the cause of obscure cases of gastrointestinal bleeding, especially those originating from lesions in the small bowel, an area not visualized by ordinary fiberoptic instruments. Angiectasias, submucosal tumors and superficial ulcerations, such as those occurring in early inflammatory bowel disease, were successfully identified.

     This excellent atlas is the work of two renowned specialists and their teams, Miguel Mascarenhas-Saraiva, son of a distinguished surgeon from Porto, and Juan M. Herrerías from the University of Sevilla. Several of their colleagues with wide experience in the field have contributed chapters: they include the developers of the capsule, Gavriel Meron, Ellen Fischl and Eitan Scapa from Israel, Michel Delvaux and Gerard Gay from Nancy University, Marco Pennazio from the University of Torino as well as Miguel Muñoz-Navas and his colleagues from Navarra University.

     The book is divided into three parts. Part I deals first with the birth and development of capsule endoscopy, written by the Israeli team. It is followed by Mascarenhas Saraiva’s description of the procedure and the indications for capsule endoscopy, and an assessment of the contraindications and complications of the procedure by Pennazio. Next comes important new terminology of capsule endoscopy, adapted by Delvaux from the minimal terminology standards set up by the European Society of Gastroentestinal Endoscopy and other organizations. Finally, normal anatomy as seen through the capsule is described in detail by the Seville team.

     Part II deals with diseases of the small bowel; iatrogenic lesions, neoplastic and vascular disorders, malabsorption syndromes, surveillance of polyposis and the use of the capsule in pediatric gastroenterology are very well documented.

     Part III is dedicated to other uses of the capsule. There are two chapters by the Seville group on the new esophageal capsule, including a description of the procedure and their findings in several esophageal conditions. A useful chapter on the so-called “patency” capsule follows. This device should be swallowed before the diagnostic procedure and will disintegrate almost completely above a stenotic area of the gut, thus avoiding the danger of blockage with an ordinary diagnostic capsule.