New Techniques, Cameras Improve Colonoscopy
Technology Making Colonoscopy More Accurate
WebMD News Archive
Is High-Definition Better? continued...
As the high-definition equipment was being phased in, DeVault's team
assigned 1,200 patients to standard exams and another 1,200 to high-definition
exams, then compared the detection rate of adenomas.
''Overall we found adenomas in about 30% who had high-definition and in 24%
of those who had standard-definition colonoscopy," he says.
But most were small, he says. High-definition is not available everywhere,
he says, although the newer machines are now high-definition. So in time, the
technology will be widespread.
Tackling the Flat Lesion Problem
In other research, Charles Kahi, MD, assistant professor of clinical
medicine at Indiana University in Indianapolis, compared high-definition
white light colonoscopy in 339 patients with ''chromocolonoscopy,'' in which a
dye is sprayed to help improve detection of lesions, in 321 patients.
Overall, the results of the dye technique were disappointing, he says. The
differences in lesion detection were small. There was no increase in overall
adenoma detection and there was a modest increase in flat and small adenoma
The results, he says, don't support chromocolonoscopy for average-risk
Message to Patients
Although the newer technologies are not yet widespread, DuVault said it
would make sense for patients scheduling a colonoscopy to at least ask their
doctor about the availability of high-definition colonoscopies.
Despite the bells and whistles, preparation of the colon by the patient
before the test is still one of the key factors contributing to the accuracy of
the test, doctors stressed. Other factors that have been shown to improve
results include the experience of the physician performing the test.
DeMarco says colonoscopy's effectiveness rate is good but that the new
technology will improve detection more. "We are trying to make something that's
[already] very good better."