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How accurate is a PillCam?

Hi, I have been suffering with gi issues since 2013. Like a lot of you I was diagnosed with IBS-D after multiple negative EGDs and colonoscopies. This past April I entered a flare up that is intolerable, 10 or more bms per day, abdominal pain, incontinence. I decided to change drs and the new doctor did a fecal calprotectin test which showed high inflammation. I am now scheduled for Pillcam this coming week. The mental anguish and disruption to daily life has been indescribable . How many of you have had a Pillcam that showed disease that no other test had? I’m looking for hope. It’s so hard to live like this! Thanks!

  1. Hi ,

    I am so sorry for all you've been through, but I wanted to tell you that your story sounds a lot like mine! I had countless negative EGD's and colonscopies, and the pill cam test showed Crohn's disease in my small bowel! The test is minimally invasive, and it was the way that I was diagnosed after 6.5 years of not having doctors believe me or not correctly diagnose me. I wrote a blog post about it here:

    https://inflammatoryboweldisease.net/living/trust-your-gut-irony/

    & am happy to answer any specific questions you may have!

    Warmly,
    Amanda (Inflammatory Bowel Disease Team Member)

    1. Amanda, had you had MRE at all before pill cam? I had a colonoscopy that looked normal but biopsy showed active inflammation at terminal ileum. Prometheus testing confirmed Crohns and they suspect small bowel, but MRE was normal so now we are on the fence about pill cam vs repeat colonoscopy just to guide treatment since I didn't respond to oral medication. I'm curious to see if anyone else has had a normal MRE but pill cam did in fact show inflammation in the small bowel.

    2. Hi - I'm so sorry for my delayed response, I didn't get a notification about your question. I did not have an MRE before the pill cam. I also had colonoscopies that looked normal and biopsy's that showed active inflammation. I'm glad that your doctor thought to do the Prometheus testing already, and that it confirmed Crohn's disease. My recommendation is if you haven't already had the pill cam test, I would ask for that test first before repeating the MRE or colonoscopy. I also didn't respond to oral medication, and ended up trying a few biologics before landing at Remicade. Please keep us posted!

      Warmly,
      Amanda (Team Member)

  2. Thank you for the encouragement. I have the test Thursday. I will keep you updated!

    1. Please do!! Fingers crossed 😀

      Warmly,
      Amanda (team member)

  3. I had the pill camera procedure (virtual colonoscopy thing). It was a painless and easy procedure. My understanding, in terms of the accuracy question, is it is not as accurate as some other tests such as an actual colonoscopy. A colonoscopy is the most accurate way to look at your intestines...but there is a catch...it mostly only gives the gi a look at your colon...maybe a bit of your small intestine.....This is why there is a need for things like the pill camera. The MRI-E, from what I understand, is probably more accurate than the pill camera...but using both of them in conjunction can be helpful. It also has the advantage of giving clinicians a peek at your entire GI tract (with Crohn's disease your inflammation can be anywhere in the GI tract). Hence, it is worth doing the test....since the risks are small...but it is not as accurate as some other procedures.

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