, Volume 32, Issue 5, pp 541-551

Computed tomographic colonography: clinical value

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Abstract

Computed tomographic colonography (CTC) has the potential to reliably detect polyps in the colon. Its clinical value is accepted for several indications. The main target is screening asymptomatic people for colorectal cancer (CRC). As in large multi-centre trials controversial results were obtained, acceptance of this indication on a large scale is still pending. Agreement exists that in experienced hands screening can be performed with CTC. This emphasizes the importance of adequate and intensive training. Besides this, other problems have to be solved. A low complication profile is mandatory. Perforation rate is very low. Ultra-low dose radiation should be used. When screening large patient cohorts, CTC will need a time-efficient and cost-effective management without too many false positives and additional exploration. Can therefore a cut-off size of polyp detection safely be installed? Is the flat lesion an issue? Can extra-colonic findings be treated efficiently? A positive relationship with the gastro-enterologists will improve the act of screening. Improvements of scanning technique and software with dose reduction, improved 3D visualisation methods and CAD are steps in the good direction. Finally, optimisation of laxative-free CTC could be invaluable in the development of CTC as a screening tool for CRC.