, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 172-176

Colonoscopy in octogenarians: a review of 428 cases

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Studies on the use of colonoscopy in the octogenarian are few. Therefore this study evaluated the results and cost-effectiveness of colonoscopy in octogenarians. A total of 403 patients 80 years of age or older who underwent colonoscopy from May 1994 to May 1996 were reviewed (median 84, range 80–95). Parameters evaluated were indications for colonoscopy, significant endoscopic findings (biopsy-confirmed adenocarcinoma and adenomatous polyps ≥1 cm), complications, colonoscopy completion rate, and mean charge per procedure. Postpolypectomy bleeding occurred in one patient. The cecal intubation rate was 94%. The calculated cost per procedure was U.S. $2,342. Indications for colonoscopy/number of cancers detected include: change in bowel habits, 78/2; blood/hemoccult positive, 69/8; abdominal pain, 12/0; constipation, 9/0; diarrhea, 8/0; surveillance for history of polyps, 159/3; surveillance for history of cancer, 51/1; cancer or polyp on sigmoidoscopy, 42/4. The cancer detection rate in patients with bleeding was 11.5%, compared with 1.9% for all other symptoms. Colonoscopy can be safely performed in the octogenarian population. Our data suggest that more stringent selection criteria for colonoscopy in the octogenarian could result in significant cost savings.

Accepted: 16 April 1999