Colorectal Polyps and Cancers in Asymptomatic Average-Risk Patients: Evaluation with CT Colonography

Michael Macari, Edmund J. Bini, Stacy L. Jacobs, Sanjay Naik, Yvonne W. Lui, Andrew Milano, Roshini Rajapaksa, Alec J. Megibow, James Babb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To compare thin-section multi-detector row computed tomographic (CT) colonography with conventional colonoscopy in the evaluation of colorectal polyps and cancer in asymptomatic average-risk patients. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Sixty-eight asymptomatic men (age > 50 years) scheduled to undergo screening colonoscopy were enrolled in this study. CT colonography was followed by conventional colonoscopy, performed on the same day. Supine and prone CT colonography were performed after colonic insufflation with room air. A gastroenterologist measured all polyps, which were categorized as 1-5, 6-9, or over 10 mm. Biopsy and histologic evaluation were performed of all polyps. CT colonography and colonoscopy results were compared for location, size, and morphology of detected lesions. Point estimates and 95% CIs were provided for specificity and sensitivity of CT by using results at conventional colonoscopy as the reference standard. RESULTS; At colonoscopy, 98 polyps were identified in 39 patients; 21 (21.4%) of 98 were detected at CT colonography. Sensitivity was 11.5% (nine of 78) for polyps 1-5 mm, 52.9% (nine of 17) for polyps 6-9 mm, and 100% (three of three) for polyps over 10 mm. Results at colonoscopy were normal in 29 (42.6%) of 68 patients; at CT colonography, results were correctly identified as normal in 26 of these 29 patients. In one of these patients, a lesion larger than 10 mm was detected at CT colonography. The per-patient specificity of CT was 89.7% (26 of 29; 95% CI: 72.7%, 97.8%). The mean time for CT image interpretation was 9 minutes. CONCLUSION: In patients at average risk for colorectal cancer, CT colonography is a sensitive and specific screening test for detecting polyps 10 mm or larger; the sensitivity for detecting smaller polyps is decreased. Examination findings can be interpreted in a clinically feasible amount of time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)629-636
Number of pages8
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Colon neoplasms, CT
  • Colon, CT
  • Colonoscopy
  • Computed tomography (CT), multidetector row


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