September 18, 2008

CT Scans Found Effective for Colonoscopy

A U.S. study suggests computed tomographic colonography is an effective, less invasive option in screening for colorectal cancer.

CT colonograpy uses virtual reality technology to produce two- or three-dimensional visualizations of the colon and rectum and is less invasive than standard colonoscopy, which uses a long tube with a camera to view the lining of the colon, researchers said.

The results of the American College of Radiology Imaging Network National CT Colonography Trial, which involved 2,600 patients at 15 research centers, are published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The report said CT colonographic screening identified 90 percent of subjects with cancers measuring 10 mm or more in diameter.

"CT colonography could be adopted into the mainstream of clinical practice as a primary option for colorectal cancer screening. We hope that this additional, less-invasive option for cancer screening will lead more people to get screened and will ultimately result in fewer deaths from colorectal cancer," principal investigator Dr. C. Daniel Johnson of the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz., said in a statement.