Removal of a piece of the lining (mucosa) of the upper small intestine. This can be done by a surgical operation but is usually performed by an enteroscope or less usually a special metal capsule (Crosby capsule), swallowed by the patient. When the capsule is in the jejunum a small knife within it is triggered by suction on an attached tube, cutting off a small piece of mucosa. The specimen is then examined microscopically to assist in the diagnosis of coeliac disease, Crohn’s disease, Whipple’s disease, or intestinal infections, or its enzyme content may be measured chemically to detect, for example, lactase deficiency.
Subjects: Medicine and Health.