Computerized Polyp Detection Rivals Optical Colonoscopy

Sensitivities similar at 8 mm polyp size

FRIDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- A computer-aided polyp detection (CAD) program is as good as optical colonoscopy for detecting polyps that are at least 8 millimeters in size, according to a comparison study in the December issue of Gastroenterology.

Ronald M. Summers, M.D., Ph.D., from the U.S. National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., and colleagues compared computed tomographic virtual colonoscopy with standard optical colonoscopy for detection of polyps in 1,186 subjects at three medical centers.

The authors found the CAD program sensitivity was 89.3% per patient and per adenomatous polyp at least one centimeter in size. Both methods were equally as sensitive for detecting adenomas in the 8 to 10 mm range. The false-positive rate was 2.1 polyps per person.

"Virtual colonoscopy continues to rapidly evolve into an accurate and practical method for screening for colorectal cancer that should bolster our capacity to screen the large, as yet unscreened average-risk population," writes John H. Bond, M.D., chief of the gastroenterology section at the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Medical Center, in an accompanying editorial. "By 'playing on the same team,' gastroenterologists and radiologists hopefully can resolve remaining issues that will allow virtual colonoscopy and optical colonoscopy to improve the level of screening of our underscreened, at-risk population."

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