Patient Stories

Crohn's disease can present anywhere along your digestive tract. It's a patchy disease that can vary in severity and symptoms – and that sometimes makes it difficult to diagnose and manage. For every story about Crohn's, there is someone who lived it.20,30,31

Read about just a few people whose lives
have been affected by the PillCamTM
small bowel (SB) capsule.

Picture is not an actual patient.
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Patient Stories

Symptoms do not correlate with
the severity of Crohn's disease

A relatively symptom-free patient, who had hoped to be prescribed a lower dosage of medication, was found through capsule endoscopic evaluation of his small bowel to actually require a much stronger medication due to the severity of his disease.

When a 26-year-old male went to the doctor for diarrhea and abdominal cramps, he had no significant past medical history. He was referred for a colonoscopy, which helped diagnose him with Crohn's disease and he went home with a prescription for mesalamine.

One year later, he was referred to his gastroenterologist for continued treatment. When he arrived, he was symptom-free other than some mild fatigue. Because he had no apparent symptoms, he thought it would be a good idea to decrease his dosage of mesalamine.

Before decreasing his dose, his doctor decided to perform a small bowel capsule endoscopy. The small bowel camera showed moderately severe ulceration, edema, and other abnormalities. He decided with his doctors to switch to a much stronger medication.

Patient Stories

The role of capsule endoscopy in Crohn's disease monitoring

Even though this patient was symptom-free, small bowel capsule endoscopy showed the return of severe small bowel Crohn's one year after surgery. His doctor put him on medication, and is using the PillCam™ SB capsule to help monitor his condition and guide his treatment plan.

A 22-year-old male who had been diagnosed with fibrostenotic Crohn's disease five years earlier went to see his doctor for further evaluation. At that time, he was relatively symptom-free, and he'd undergone a partial small bowel resection for Crohn's stricture just one year earlier.

Since the time of his operation, he had been taking no medications. The findings of his physical examination were normal and his lab results were normal, with the exception of one that indicated mild anemia.

Restarting medication was considered, since his small bowel Crohn's disease was expected to inevitably return. He underwent a capsule endoscopy to assess any disease activity. The camera showed that his small bowel Crohn's disease had returned, and it was decided that he should begin treatment.

One year later, a surveillance small bowel capsule endoscopy was performed to determine if his medication was helping his condition. The second PillCam™ SB capsule procedure showed persistence of small bowel ulcers, although they weren't as severe as during the previous year. The decision was made to increase his medication, and a reevaluation is currently planned for the near future.

Patient Stories

Capsule endoscopy used for
diagnosis and monitoring activity

Even though this patient underwent numerous diagnostic tests for Crohn's, the PillCam™ SB capsule was able to detect abnormalities in his small bowel where other methods failed. It helped prevent the risk of severe blood loss.

A 64-year-old man had two massive lower gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding episodes. He had bloody stools and abdominal cramps. He had been hospitalized twice and had received a transfusion.

He underwent two colonoscopies and an upper endoscopy, but both returned normal results. A computed tomography (CT) scan and a small bowel series were also normal.

Review of the PillCam™ SB capsule images uncovered moderate to severe Crohn's disease. After further confirmation with biopsy, the patient was started on medication. After a nine-month period, he underwent another capsule endoscopy with the PillCam™ SB capsule that revealed only mild disease severity. The patient has had no further bleeding.

This case report highlights the benefits of the PillCam™ SB capsule over other methods to diagnose ulcers of the small bowel. In this case, both the small bowel series and the CT scans failed to identify the site of blood loss.

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