Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Virtual Colonoscopy Reveals Diseases Outside The Colon, As Well

Date:
July 26, 2005
Source:
University of California - San Francisco
Summary:
Computed tomographic (CT) colonography, known as virtual colonoscopy, can be used to diagnose significant medical problems in organs outside the colon, according to a new study conducted at the San Francisco VA Medical Center (SFVAMC).

Computed tomographic (CT) colonography, known as virtual colonoscopy, can be used to diagnose significant medical problems in organs outside the colon, according to a new study conducted at the San Francisco VA Medical Center (SFVAMC).

In the study, 45 virtual colonoscopy patients out of 500, or 9 percent, were found to have clinically important extracolonic findings ranging from kidney cancers to abdominal aortic aneurysms. In 35 of the patients, or 7 percent, these conditions had not been previously diagnosed.

"That's a fairly large percentage," observes principal investigator and lead author Judy Yee, MD, chief of radiology at SFVAMC. "Depending on the patient population you look at, this finding suggests that it may be more common to find something significant outside of the colon than in the colon with this technique, because there is more likely to be a problem outside the colon." The study is being published in the August 2005 issue of Radiology.

Virtual colonoscopy uses a CT (computed tomography) scanner, which generates a three-dimensional image from a series of two-dimensional X-rays, to screen for cancers and polyps in the colon. It is much less invasive than more conventional screening techniques such as a colonoscopy, in which a flexible tube with an imaging device on the end is inserted all the way through the colon to the lower end of the small intestine, or a lower gastrointestinal (GI) series, in which X-rays are taken of the colon after it has been filled with barium. Unlike these techniques, virtual colonoscopy is not limited to the colon. It is also much quicker -- less than one minute -- versus 30 minutes to an hour for standard colonoscopy and one to two hours for a lower GI series.

"Essentially, we're performing a CT scan of the entire abdomen and pelvis," says Yee, who is also associate professor and vice-chair of radiology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). "This allows us to look at all the solid organs," including the liver, kidneys, pancreas, spleen, gall bladder, adrenal glands, and bladder, plus the lower part of the lungs. In men, the scan includes the prostate; in women, the uterus and ovaries.

"Typically, these are patients who are not symptomatic for their extracolonic lesion; that's not what brought them in for a CT scan," Yee notes. "And they're often at an earlier stage of disease, and thus more amenable to treatment."

Of the 35 patients with significant new extracolonic findings, 25 underwent follow-up imaging studies; of those, 13 were confirmed as needing surgery or further monitoring, and 12 were determined to have benign lesions. Ten of the 35 did not receive any follow-up.

The average additional cost per patient for following up clinically important extracolonic findings was $28.12. "That's relatively low, considering what was found in the patients," says Yee.

The study was conducted on 500 male patients at SFVAMC who were referred for colonoscopy from February 1998 through September 2002. Their mean age was 62.5 years. Thirty-nine percent presented for routine screening and were classified as being at average risk for colon cancer; 61 percent were referred for screening because of one or more symptoms and were considered at high risk for colon cancer.

Patients were followed for an average of three and a half years after screening -- the longest known follow-up in a study of virtual colonoscopy, according to the researchers. There were no significant differences in outcome between average- and high-risk patients. The study did not specifically address findings in the colon; however, in a 2001 study of 300 patients published in Radiology (219:685-692), Yee found that virtual colonoscopy identified every patient with a clinically significant colon polyp.

For Yee, the results of the current study reinforce the potential appeal of virtual colonoscopy for the general public. "Right now, less than 30 percent of Americans who should be screened for colon cancer -- that is, adults age 50 and above -- actually come in for screening," she notes. "The message here is, go out and get screened for colon cancer. If you have a virtual colonoscopy, we will find clinically significant lesions in the colon and can find significant disease outside of the colon as well."

###

Co-authors of the study include Naveen N. Kumar, MD, of UCSF; Suchitra Godara, MBBS, of SFVAMC; Janice Casamina, MD, Robert Hom, MD, Gregroy Galdino, MD, and Peter Dell, MD, of UCSF; and Darice Liu, MD, of SFVAMC.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - San Francisco. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of California - San Francisco. "Virtual Colonoscopy Reveals Diseases Outside The Colon, As Well." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 July 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/07/050726074406.htm>.
University of California - San Francisco. (2005, July 26). Virtual Colonoscopy Reveals Diseases Outside The Colon, As Well. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/07/050726074406.htm
University of California - San Francisco. "Virtual Colonoscopy Reveals Diseases Outside The Colon, As Well." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/07/050726074406.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) Liberia's finance minister is urging the international community to quickly follow through on pledges of cash to battle Ebola. Bodies are piling up in the capital Monrovia as the nation awaits more help. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) A Florida doctor who helped fight the expanding Ebola outbreak in West Africa says the disease can be stopped, but only if nations quickly step up their response and make border control a priority. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) More than 100 tons of medical supplies were sent to West Africa on Saturday, but aid workers say the global response is still sluggish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins