Sensitivity–Specificity Trade-off for Capsule Endoscopy in IBD: Is It Worth It?

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There are a growing number of reports comparing wireless capsule endoscopy (CE) to other diagnostic tests for use in patients with Crohn's disease. A meta-analysis of these studies in this issue of the Journal showed that the “diagnostic yield” of detecting lesions suggestive of active Crohn's disease is much higher with CE compared to other tests. Routine use of CE in Crohn's disease will increase true-positive testing, but also will increase the number of false-positive tests. Since the penalty of false-positive testing is very high (unnecessary use of toxic and expensive medications, and the stigma of being diagnosed with a serious chronic disease), CE should be used only in limited clinical situations. In particular, CE may be helpful in Crohn's disease patients without a stricture whose physician needs an added measure of certainty that active disease is present.

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