In an editorial published in the April 19 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine gastroenterologist Thomas Imperiale, M.D., says virtual colonoscopy may become one of the most valuable assessment tools available for colorectal cancer screening.
"I expect a lot from a screening test — zero risk, high sensitivity, high specificity, reasonable ease and convenience, and cost effectiveness," said Dr. Imperiale, who is professor of medicine and Regenstrief Institute research scientist. "That may be a lot to ask, but I think CT colonography (also known as virtual colonoscopy) has the potential to meet all of these criteria, especially if the need to take a laxative preparation can be eliminated."
"Colonoscopy is currently used as a screening test for colorectal cancer, but it didnt start out as one," he explained. "The cumulative potential for side effects from the laxative preparation, the need for conscious sedation, lost sleep, time lost from work, the need to arrange for someone to drive the patient home, and risk for perforation exceed my threshold for what a good screening test should be."
Cindy Fox Aisen | EurekAlert!
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