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Gastroenterology sets standards for CT colonography
Date:9/7/2007

Recognizing that CT colonography will play a role in screening for colorectal cancer (CRC), and the critical need to increase overall CRC screening rates, the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Institute issued minimum standards for gastroenterologist performance of the test. To ensure competence, a minimum of 75 endoscopically confirmed cases should be interpreted by the physician.

Despite the fact that CT colonography has not yet been endorsed as a primary screening test in asymptomatic, normal risk adults, many patients have shown interest in this test. The indications for CT colonography are controversial, with many payers recommending that this test only be indicated for patients who have had a failed optical colonoscopy or who have a mass obstructing the colon where examination of the entire colon is required prior to surgical resection. Nonetheless, CT colonography may be considered for patients unwilling to undergo other colorectal screening tests, note the authors of the standards paper, which is published in Gastroenterology, the official journal of the AGA Institute.

Because of our specialized training, gastroenterologists are experts in CRC screening and colorectal disease. It follows that if patients want a virtual colonoscopy it may be highly appropriate to see a qualified gastroenterologist for the test, notes Don Rockey, MD, AGAF, chair of the AGA Institute Task Force on CT Colonography. As CT colonography technology is evolving, it is important to check that your physician has been properly trained to ensure that the test is performed and interpreted accurately.

After formal training, during which at least 75 tests should be interpreted, the AGA Institute Task Force on CT Colonography, which authored the standards paper, recommends that gastroenterologists should participate in a mentored CT colonography preceptorship with the candidate physically present and involved in the interpretation of at
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Contact: Aimee Frank
media@gastro.org
301-941-2620
American Gastroenterological Association
Source:Eurekalert

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