Journal Club: May 2011

Radiol Med. 2011 Mar 19. [Epub ahead of print]

A simplified approach to virtual colonoscopy using different intestinal preparations: preliminary experience with regard to quality, accuracy and patient acceptability.

Faccioli N, Foti G, Barillari M, Zaccarella A, Camera L, Biasiutti C, Pozzi Mucelli R.


PURPOSE: The authors assessed the quality, diagnostic accuracy and patient acceptability of computed tomography (CT) colonography performed using a simplified bowel preparation and software for post-processing digital elimination of stool and fluid data from images compared with the examination obtained with conventional preparation.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Two groups of 40 consecutive asymptomatic patients aged between 48 and 72 years underwent CT colonography. In group A, the CT scan was performed with conventional bowel preparation (a full cathartic dose and oral contrast medium to tag any residue in the 3 days preceding the study). In the second group, CT colonography was performed after a reduced bowel preparation, with the oral contrast medium for residue tagging being administered only on the day of the investigation. Examination quality, diagnostic performance and patient acceptability (rated with a self-completed questionnaire) in the two groups of patients were compared by using the McNemar test.

RESULTS: No significant difference was obtained with regard to examination quality (180 vs. 165 segments free from stools and fluid, p>0.05) and overall diagnostic accuracy (16/17 colonic polyps detected in group A and 12/13 in group B, p>0.05). The questionnaires revealed a greater acceptability of the reduced bowel preparation compared with the standard procedure (p=0.01).

CONCLUSIONS: In asymptomatic patients, the use of software for post-processing digital elimination of residue from images in conjunction with reduced bowel preparation does not reduce examination quality or diagnostic performance when compared with the conventional CT colonography technique and is more acceptable to and better tolerated by the patient.