Capsule endoscopy (CE) has proved to be the preferred modality for mucosal pathologies of the small bowel. We evaluated the capability of CE for detecting small bowel ulcers and the contribution of CE in establishing the diagnosis. From a total of 66 patients who had undergone normal upper and lower endoscopy and small bowel follow-through, CE revealed previously undiagnosed ulcer(s) in the small intestines of 22 patients. Final diagnoses of the ulcers of these 22 patients were Crohn's disease (n = 9), Behcet's disease (n = 2), nonspecific jejunoileitis (n = 2), vasculitis (n = 1), gastrointestinal stromal tumor (n = 1), adenocarcinoma (n = 1), lymphoma (n = 1), multiple myeloma (n = 1), Meckel's diverticulum (n = 1) and unknown (n = 3). Capsule endoscopy was extremely useful in establishing the diagnosis. In this study, proximal, distal and diffuse small bowel ulcers were determined at rates of 27.3, 59.0 and 13.7%, respectively. Capsule endoscopy facilitated the detection and assessment of ulcerated mucosal lesions located in the small bowel.