Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 63, Issue 5, pp 1167–1172 | Cite as

Adenoma Detection Rate in Asymptomatic Patients with Positive Fecal Immunochemical Tests

  • Eugene Kligman
  • Wenfang Li
  • George J. Eckert
  • Charles Kahi
Original Article


Background and Aims

The adenoma detection rate (ADR) is a powerful measure of screening colonoscopy quality. Patients who undergo colonoscopy for the evaluation of a positive fecal immunochemical test (FIT) have increased prevalence of colorectal neoplasia, but it is not known whether separate quality benchmarks are required. The aim of this study was to compare the conventional ADR to the ADR of colonoscopies performed for the evaluation of positive FIT, in asymptomatic average-risk patients.


Patients ≥ 50 years old who underwent colonoscopy for the evaluation of a positive FIT between January 1, 2013, and July 31, 2014, at a tertiary Veterans Affairs Medical Center were identified. FIT performed for any indication other than average-risk screening was excluded. The comparison group included average-risk patients ≥ 50 years old undergoing screening colonoscopy during the same time frame. The two groups were compared for ADR, advanced neoplasm [adenoma ≥ 10 mm, tubulovillous, high-grade dysplasia, CRC, sessile serrated polyp (SSP) ≥ 10 mm], CRC, and SSP detection after propensity score adjustment using a logistic regression model adjusted for endoscopist.


There were 207 patients in the FIT group and 601 in the screening colonoscopy comparison group. After propensity score adjustment, ADR (72.9 vs. 50.0%, p = 0.003), number of adenomas per colonoscopy (3.3 ± 3.6 vs. 1.4 ± 2.3, p = 0.033), and advanced neoplasm detection rate (32.4 vs. 11.0%, p < 0.0001) were significantly higher in the FIT group. There were no significant differences in the number of CRC and the SSP detection rate.


In this cohort of average-risk Veterans, the ADR of colonoscopies performed for the evaluation of a positive FIT was higher than the ADR of screening colonoscopies. Patients with a positive FIT also had significantly more adenomas per colonoscopy and advanced neoplasms. These findings suggest that the quality of colonoscopies performed for a positive FIT is insufficiently assessed by the conventional ADR and requires additional quality metrics.


Screening Colonoscopy Colon neoplasm 


Author’s contribution

EK contributed to acquisition of data; analysis and interpretation of data; and drafting of the manuscript, WL and GE analyzed and interpreted the data and critically revised the manuscript for important intellectual content, and CK contributed in study concept and design; analysis and interpretation of data; drafting of the manuscript; and critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eugene Kligman
    • 1
  • Wenfang Li
    • 2
    • 3
  • George J. Eckert
    • 2
    • 3
  • Charles Kahi
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of MedicineIndiana University School of MedicineIndianapolisUSA
  2. 2.Department of BiostatisticsIndiana University School of MedicineIndianapolisUSA
  3. 3.Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public HealthIndianapolisUSA
  4. 4.Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical CenterIndianapolisUSA

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