A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine concluded that the use of a wireless pill camera, like Given Imaging’s PillCam, in its current generation, is not as effective as a traditional colonoscopy procedure.
PillCam is an alternative to endoscopy, which requires the insertion of a long tube into a patient, a procedure that often necessitates sedation. PillCam’s camera takes some 60,000 photos as it makes its way down the esophagus, into the stomach and through the intestines over a span of about eight hours. The PillCam can help doctors diagnose small-intestine conditions, including Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, tumors and ulcerative colitis in patients 10-years-old or older.
The PillCam has a special coating that makes it slippery when wet and a bit easier to swallow. Once ingested, a monitoring device around the patient’s waist uses a low-powered radio frequency to receive the images from the capsule as it transmits.
For the colonoscopy study, however, researchers found that the capsule screening had a sensitivity rate of 64 percent and a specificity rate of 84 percent in detecting polyps that were at least 6 millimeters in size, while rates for detecting advanced polyps were 73 percent and 79 percent, respectively. Keep reading>>