The November issue of American Journal of Roentgenology described a program in which specially trained technicians performed computed tomography (virtual) CT colonoscopies in two Navajo Nation health centers and transmitted the tests for interpretation by radiologists hundreds of miles away at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Centers.
A retrospective review of 320 patients found that more than 90% of the tests showed adequate patient preparation and technical performance of the procedure. Researchers did report a relatively high (54%) rate of false-positives, but “If there was any doubt, I called it positive and recommended a colonoscopy,” said Dr. Arthur Friedman, the lead radiologist for the study.
The study authors acknowledged that a better study would be a randomized trial comparing annual FOBT screening, optical and CT colonoscopy but, they noted, many residents in these and other rural areas live far from post offices or in homes lacking adequate plumbing, so compliance with fecal screening tests is poor, and there are not medical personnel to perform optical colonoscopies or sigmoidoscopies.
Source: Medscape, Oct. 29, 2010