How Many Endoscopic Exams Could You Handle? : Shots - Health News Volunteers who got 15 endoscopies in six months reported no change in their quality of life. Apparently, you can get used to just about anything.
NPR logo How Many Endoscopic Exams Could You Handle?

How Many Endoscopic Exams Could You Handle?

The upshot? You can apparently get used to just about anything.

We just had our 15th endoscopy and life is good! iStockphoto.com hide caption

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Healthy volunteers in the six-month study got 15 separate endoscopic exams to see how five different drugs and aspirin affected their stomachs and the tops of their small intestines.

Along the way the eight men and two women in the study filled out a 36-question survey to gauge their quality of life. It didn't change significantly despite taking all those different medicines and being prodded regularly from the inside out.

None of the volunteers, average age about 28, dropped out. All of them said they would do it again.

Indeed, the German researchers said some of the people signed up for a subsequent test that subjected them to four endoscopic exams in just two hours. Yikes!

The people in the study did get paid for their time, though the doctors said it was only a modest amount. But the motivation of a volunteer for idealistic reasons may be at least as important as money, the researchers said, and could be a fruitful focus for future research.

The researchers wrote that they weren't trying to "clarify whether endoscopy-based research is ethical or not," but the results, limited as they are by small size of the study, could contribute to the conversation.

The work was funded by drugmaker AstraZeneca and appears in the World Journal of Gastroenterology.