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Frequently Asked Questions When Considering a Colorectal Cancer Screening Test, From the American College of Gastroenterology
Date:10/5/2007

eath while lying on your back and a CT scan is performed. You then turn over onto your stomach and you again hold your breath while a second CT scan of the abdomen and pelvis is performed.

Does the Test Require Bowel Cleansing (Laxatives)?

Yes. The bowel-cleansing regimen is the same for both a regular colonoscopy and CT colonography. On the day before the procedure, you stay on clear liquids all day and on the evening before and the morning of the procedure, laxatives are taken to flush waste from the colon. In addition, contrast imaging tablets need to be taken three times a day for one to two days prior to the test.

Which Test is Closest to Being Pain-Free?

With CT colonography, because no sedation is used, the distention of the colon with gas can be painful. In several studies, patients experience more pain and discomfort with CT colonography than with a regular colonoscopy, because the latter involves the administration of sedatives.

Is CT Colonography an Accurate Test?

New findings from a multi-center study of the accuracy of CT colonography suggest that it can detect about 75 to 85 percent of intermediate and large polyps. It is not as accurate in identifying smaller polyps, which also have the potential to develop in to cancer. Previous studies of CT colonography had shown a very wide range of results. On average, previous results showed that CT colonography was clearly inferior to regular colonoscopy for detection of colon polyps, with many false negatives and false positives.

How Often is a Follow-Up Colonoscopy Needed After CT Colonography to Remove Polyps?

The ACRIN trial found the incidence of ademonas 6 mm or larger was 8.36 percent, suggesting that those patients would need to have an optical colonoscopy to remove suspicious polyps. Earlier studies ranged from at least 30%, and in some studies 50%, of patients having a CT colonography will need a regular colonoscopy to remove detected polyps. The
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SOURCE American College of Gastroenterology
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