Repeated annual FITs may be viable alternative to colonoscopy

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Repeated FITs May Be Equivalent Alternative to Colonoscopy
Repeated FITs May Be Equivalent Alternative to Colonoscopy

(HealthDay News) -- Repeated annual fecal immunochemical tests (FITs) can detect all colorectal cancer (CRC) cases and may be equivalent to colonoscopy in detecting advanced neoplasia in first-degree relatives of patients with CRC, according to a study published in the November issue of Gastroenterology.

Enrique Quintero, M.D., Ph.D., from Universidad de La Laguna in Spain, and colleagues randomized (1:1) 1,918 first-degree relatives of patients with CRC to receive a single colonoscopy examination (782 individuals) or three FITs (784 individuals; one/year for three years; using a cut-off ≥10 µg hemoglobin/g feces). An equivalency of the strategies was defined by a difference of the 95 percent confidence interval for the detection of advanced neoplasia of ±3 percent.

The researchers found that advanced neoplasia was detected in 4.2 percent of the FIT group and 5.6 percent of the colonoscopy group (odds ratio, 1.41; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.88 to 2.26; P = 0.14). In the FIT group, 3.9 percent of the first-degree relatives had advanced neoplasia, as did 5.8 percent in the colonoscopy group (odds ratio, 1.56; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.95 to 2.56; P = 0.08). While FIT did not miss CRC, it missed 16 of 41 advanced adenomas. Compared to the colonoscopy strategy, endoscopic evaluation was required in four-fold fewer individuals using the FIT strategy.

"Repeated FIT screening (one/year for three years) detected all CRCs and proved equivalent to colonoscopy in detecting advanced neoplasia in first-degree relatives of patients with CRC," the authors write. "This strategy should be considered for populations where compliance with FITs is higher than with colonoscopy."

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