Tag Archives: Digestive Disease Week

Colonoscopy Perforation Rates Low and Decreasing

Bowel perforation, or a hole in the colon, is one of the complications of colonoscopy.  Different reported rates of perforation have been confusing. A pooled analysis of published studies of perforation rates was reported during a Digestive Disease Week session on May 31.  Including 17 different studies covering more than a quarter million colonoscopies, the perforation rate for therapeutic colonoscopy was 1 in 1,500 exams.  In purely screening or diagnostic tests, perforations occured in only 1 in 6,000 tests.  Perforation risk is about three times higher when polyps are removed during the colonoscopy. Analysis showed a trend toward decreasing rates of perforations over time.

New Technique Provides Microscopic Images of Suspicious Polyps During Colonoscopy

News from Digestive Disease Week 2008 A tiny microscope, less than one-sixteenth of an inch, attached to the end of the instrument used for a colonoscopy can provide magnified pictures of cells and small blood vessels in suspicious lesions allowing doctors to make on-the-spot decisions about whether a polyp is benign or precancerous. The technique — confocal endomicroscopy — can identify benign polyps 98 percent of the time, avoiding having to remove the lesion and wait for results of the biopsy.  Precancerous polyps can be viewed, identified, and treated immediately during the colonoscopy.

First Colonoscopy of the Day Finds More Polyps

News from Digestive Disease Week 2008 Video courtesy of Medscape Today. The first colonoscopy performed each day finds more polyps — both small hyperplastic ones and more serious advanced adenomas.  As the day goes on, fewer polyps are found every hour. Researchers studied all the colonoscopies performed at the UCLA Veteran Administration Center in 2006 and 2007, keeping track of a number of variables that might affect the number of polyps found.  Even adjusting for patient differences, withdrawal times, and bowel preparation, the time of day remained a predictor of how many polyps were located during the colonoscopy.