Sensitivity of diagnostic examinations for colorectal polyps
- Cite this article as:
- Menardo, G. Tech Coloproctol (2004) 8(Suppl 2): s273. doi:10.1007/s10151-004-0175-0
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The removal of adenomatous polyps of the large bowel reduces mortality from colorectal cancer (CRC). Faecal occult blood testing only reveals 20.40% of polyps. The flexible rectosigmoidoscope explores less than half of the large bowel. Its use should always be coupled with faecal occult blood testing which, if positive, requires a total colonoscopy. The sensitivity of double-contrast barium enema for the search of polyps is 35%. Colonoscopy does not reach the caecum in about 10% of cases. It misses 15-20% of polyps with diameter <10 mm and about 6% of polyps with diameter >10 mm. Virtual colonoscopy has substantially the same sensitivity as optical colonoscopy for polyps ≥7 mm in diameter.