CT colonography: colonic distention improved by dual positioning but not intravenous glucagon
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The aim of this study was to determine whether intravenous (IV) glucagon and dual positioning administered prior to CT colonography enhances colonic distention. We assessed the effect of dual positioning and IV glucagon on colonic distention in 96 patients who underwent CT colonography examinations. The CT colonography was performed in both supine and prone positions. Seventy-four patients received glucagon (1 mg i.v.) immediately prior to CT scanning and 22 patients did not. The bowel was divided into ten segments and colonic distention was scored by two radiologists in the supine, prone, and combined supine/prone positions using a five-point scale: 1=collapsed; 2=poorly visualized; ≥3=adequate distention; 4=entire segment visualized and well distended; 5=excellent distention). A combined segmental and overall supine/prone distention score was calculated based on the sum of the mean score for each position. There was no significant difference in the degree of colonic distention between patients who received glucagon and those who did not [supine/prone distention score (mean±SE): 3.63±0.2 vs 3.85±0.2; p=n.s.]. The degree of colonic distention was greater in the prone position in both the glucagon (3.87±0.2 vs 3.38±0.2; p<0.05) and non-glucagon groups (4.01±0.2 vs 3.69±0.2; p=N.S.) particularly in the proximal colon. There was almost perfect agreement between both radiologists in their scoring of colonic distention on a per-patient basis (k=0.9; p<0.001). Of 1480 bowel segments, 1261 (85.2%) were adequately distended in the glucagon group compared with 370 of 440 bowel segments (84%) in the non-glucagon group (p=n.s.) Colonic distention at CT colonography is improved by dual positioning but not by the administration of intravenous glucagon. While our results suggest that other smooth muscle relaxants, including butyl scopolamine, may only have a limited role in improving colonic distention in CT colonography, further studies are required.
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