Role of CT colonography in symptomatic assessment, surveillance and screening



When ‘whole colonic imaging’ is indicated, clinicians must decide between optical colonoscopy, barium enema and CT colonography (CTC). CTC is a relatively new technique which has become increasingly accessible in the UK over the past 5 years. As radiologists have gained experience and scanning parameters have standardised, there have been substantial improvements in both the accuracy and safety of CTC.


We review evidence from observational studies and randomised trials, and draw on expert opinion, to provide a comprehensive discussion of the current role of CTC in both symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals.


The emergence of CTC could soon entirely obviate the need for barium enema. CTC now has a complementary role alongside colonoscopy in symptomatic patients and a possible future role in colorectal cancer screening in the UK.

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The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

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Correspondence to L. Maximilian Almond.

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Almond, L.M., Bowley, D.M., Karandikar, S.S. et al. Role of CT colonography in symptomatic assessment, surveillance and screening. Int J Colorectal Dis 26, 959–966 (2011).

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  • CT colonography
  • Barium enema
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Surveillance
  • Screening