Virtual colonoscopy technology improves

Nov. 28, 2005 at 3:15 PM
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CHICAGO, Nov. 28 (UPI) -- Computed tomography colonography with computer-aided detection is reportedly highly effective for finding colon polyps, said scientists Monday in Chicago.

The results of a large-scale, multi-center study conducted by the National Institutes of Health was presented during the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America.

CT colonography, commonly called virtual colonoscopy, is a minimally invasive examination physicians hope will encourage more people to be screened for colon cancer. Virtual colonoscopy is desirable because there is no risk of bleeding or colon perforation and intravenous sedation is unnecessary. The procedure is less costly than conventional colonoscopy and more convenient, taking 15 minutes or less.

"The performance of virtual colonoscopy continues to improve, and the exam will become a colorectal cancer screening method more patients and doctors will find acceptable," said the study's senior investigator, Dr. Ronald Summers, chief of the clinical image processing service and chief of the virtual endoscopy and computer-aided diagnosis laboratory at the NIH clinical center in Bethesda, Md.

Summers predicted soon all physicians who are interpreting virtual colonoscopy will want to have CAD readily at hand.

"I think CAD is soon to become a mainstream technology," he said.

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