Pill camera

Pill-cam delivers picture-perfect data

Working to Find the Cause of Crohn's Disease

Our internationally renowned specialist in inflammatory bowel disease teamed up with colleagues across the country in a multi-center study to identify the underlying cause of Crohn’s disease, a bowel disorder that evolves over time, long before symptoms are present. Their hope is to identify a biomarker that would enable early diagnosis and treatment to block the disease’s progression or cure it altogether.

Using capsule endoscopy or a “pill camera” to obtain images of patients’ small intestine, an area that isn't easily reached with more traditional endoscopy procedures, researchers examined differences in the gut microbiome of those with the disease and asymptomatic first-degree family members.

The procedure involves swallowing a capsule about the size of a vitamin that has a tiny camera inside it. Thousands of pictures are then taken and recorded of the entire digestive tract. Not only does 
the procedure deliver a comprehensive picture, it is painless, minimally invasive, and doesn’t require anesthesia. Moreover, doctors are able to visualize the entire length of the small intestine, not just the first one to two feet visible in a traditional endoscopic procedure.

Video: Crohn's Disease Research at Carilion Clinic

Dr. Dario Sorrentino has been researching better options for diagnosis and treatment of Crohn's disease for more than a decade. Watch to see how his efforts may lead to easier ways to detect Crohn's in early stages when treatment is most effective.

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