Noninvasive technique increases chances of identifying high-risk lesions

Virtual colonoscopy may help increase odds of finding extracolonic lesions, according to a study published in the American Journal of Roentgenology (2010 Sep;195(3):677-86).

The study, led by Ganesh Veerappan, MD, involved 2,277 patients who underwent computed tomography colonography (CTC) from August 2003 to June 2006 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC. Using a CTC reporting and data system, extracolonic findings were categorized as highly significant, likely significant, or insignificant.

Results of the study revealed that CTC not only identified colorectal cancer but also doubled the yield of identifying significant early extracolonic lesions. Specifically, extracolonic findings were identified in 1,037 patients, with 787 insignificant and 240 significant findings. Researchers reported that when considering extracolonic findings, CTC increased the odds of identifying high-risk lesions by 78%.

“The ability of CTC to identify significant extracolonic lesions at an early treatable stage may increase the yield of CRC screening, thus enhancing CTC as a major screening technique,” said Dr. Veerappan. “CTC should be considered as an alternative to optimal colonoscopy for colorectal cancer screening or as a onetime procedure to identify significant treatable intracolonoic and extracolonic lesions.”

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