Developing a ‘magic’ MRI test to manage childhood constipation
One in ten children and young people (CYP) suffer from constipation at some point. Constipation becomes chronic in a third of cases, with 27,500 CYP needing hospital treatment each year in England alone. Up to now there has been no completely safe and efficient way of tracking the movement of food through the gut so possible reasons for constipation have been hard to diagnose.
Dr Luca Marciani, Professor in Gastrointestinal Magnetic Resonance Imaging (GI MRI) at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (NUH), and his team have developed easy to swallow, harmless mini capsules that can be detected and analysed using safe MRI scans. CYP swallow several mini capsules each day for three days in total. CYP return to the hospital on the fourth day for an MRI to find out how the pills are moving through the digestive system.
The effectiveness of these mini capsules is being clinically evaluated by the MAGnetic resonance Imaging of gastrointestinal transit in paediatric Constipation 2 (MAGIC2) and MAGIC studies. The project team has worked closely with NUH’s Young Persons Advisory Group (YPAG) as well as scientists and members of industry to ensure that the mini capsules are fit for purpose, meet the needs of CYP, and provide clinicians with a better way to diagnose constipation in CYP.
STAGE OF DEVELOPMENT BEFORE WORKING WITH NIHR CYP MEDTECH
SUPPORT PROVIDED BY NIHR CYP MEDTECH
NIHR CYP MedTech’s Patient and Public Involvement Lead, Jen Preston, provided guidance and support surrounding the involvement of CYP in the MAGIC2 trial.
NIHR CYP MedTech identified clinical experts and sites to support the study, utilising the wider TITCH network where appropriate.
NIHR CYP MedTech will support the dissemination of the findings and adoption of the technology across NHS sites.
MAGIC2 is a multi-centre randomised control trial, currently recruiting 436 CYP from hospitals across the UK. Upon completion of the trial, the project team will disseminate the findings and review how to move forward.
MAGIC2 aims to assess whether using mini-capsules in standard clinical practice can improve diagnosis and therefore the success of available treatments. The MAGIC2 trial will also develop new and more cost-effective ways to mass-produce the mini-capsules and create software capable of detecting the mini-capsules automatically, incorporating this data into patient notes and therefore streamlining the diagnostic pathway.
The MAGIC2 trial was awarded £1.2 million from the NIHR Invention for Innovation (i4i) funding programme.
Last updated: 18 May 2022