The slower that physicians withdraw endoscopes during colonoscopies, the fewer polyps and adenomas they'll miss, according to research presented last week at Digestive Disease Week in Orlando, Fla.
Researchers at Stanford School of Medicine in Palo Alto, Calif., examined 107 patients, assigning them to 3-minute and 6-minute scope withdrawal groups. All patients then underwent a second 6-minute exam to determine how many polyps and adenomas were missed on the initial pass.
Endoscopists who removed scopes from the cecum in 6 minutes instead of 3 minutes missed 31% fewer polyps and 24% fewer precancerous adenomas, notes the study. More polyps and adenomas were detected in the 3-minute group, but the miss rate was also higher, say the researchers.
Sheila Kumar, MD, a fellow in gastroenterology and hepatology at Stanford and the study's lead author, says a 6-minute withdrawal time is considered the standard of care in colonoscopy, but previous randomized research has not addressed its true efficacy. She says her study's findings suggest 6-minutue withdrawal times are in fact the most appropriate method for colorectal cancer screening.
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