Acquire the license to the best health content in the world
Contact Us

Colon CT Scans as Accurate as Colonscopy

They might give patients a more comfortable, less invasive option

FRIDAY, May 20, 2005 (HealthDay News) -- Computed tomography (CT) colonography delivers excellent results for colorectal cancer screening and provides diagnosis rates similar to those seen with conventional colonoscopy, according to a Canadian review of previous studies.

"Colorectal cancer is both highly prevalent and highly lethal, thus any improvement in early detection promises to have a positive societal impact," researcher Dr. Aashish Goela, of the University of Western Ontario, said in a prepared statement.

He examined findings from 35 studies that compared the diagnostic accuracy of CT colonography and conventional invasive colonoscopy. The studies focused on detecting abnormalities in patients at average or high risk for colorectal cancer with polyps or colorectal tumors greater than or equal to 10 mm in diameter.

CT colonography had a sensitivity of 88.6 percent and a specificity of 95 percent, meaning that the scan was nearly 89 percent accurate in spotting existing polyps or tumors, with only a 5 percent false-positive rate. CT colonography also had excellent results in several other markers of diagnostic accuracy, Goela said.

Because of its invasive nature, "the single biggest obstacle to colorectal cancer screening remains patient compliance," the Canadian researcher noted. "An alternative tool such as CT colonography, which offers similar accuracy as conventional colonoscopy but which is much less invasive, could potentially increase compliance."

The study was presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Roentgen Ray Society in New Orleans, La.

More information

The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about colorectal cancer screening.

SOURCE: American Roentgen Ray Society, news release, May 16, 2005
Consumer News