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Authors

  1. Jungles, Sandra L. BSN, RN

Abstract

Crohn's disease is a chronic immune-mediated disease that affects any or all segments of the gastrointestinal tract, but is mainly found in the small intestines or colon. Crohn's disease in the early stages present with symptoms such as chronic diarrhea, abdominal pain, and weight loss that may mimic other conditions and cause a delay in diagnosis. Many patients experience emotional difficulties related to this debilitating disease. Current procedures used to visualize the small bowel for diagnosis of Crohn's disease include small-bowel follow through, enteroclysis, and computerized tomography, but do not provide definition of the mucosal surface. Clinical research shows us the diagnostic yield of these tests are not as high as once thought. A new diagnostic tool, the M2A(TM) Video Capsule, can be used to visualize the small bowel mucosa. With the detailed photo images provided by the capsule, the physician now has the ability to detect subtle changes in the mucosal lining that may be consistent with early Crohn's disease that were previously not available or identifiable. Earlier disease treatment and management may decrease the inflammatory changes that lead to bowel thickening and stricturing and have a positive impact on the patient's total quality of life.