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Molecular imaging and CT colonography team up to bring comfort to patients
Date:6/1/2010

Reston, Va.A study published in the June issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine shows that positron emission tomography (PET)a molecular imaging techniquecombined with computer tomography (CT) colonography may provide a suitable alternative for detecting polyps and cancer in the colon. This particular imaging method may be especially desirable for patients because it does not require sedation or bowel preparation.

"One of the first indications of colorectal cancer is often the presence of polyps, which are abnormal tissue growths on the inner lining of the colon or large intestine," said Stuart A. Taylor, M.D., University College London, and lead researcher of the study. "If these polyps are detected non-invasively and without the use of bowel preparation and sedatives, investigation can be much easier on patients who would otherwise undergo colonoscopies."

Until now, the standard diagnostic test for colorectal cancer and polyps has been colonoscopy, whereby a telescopic camera is introduced into the colon via the back passage and passed around the one to two meters of colon to look for abnormalities in the bowel lining.

Although this technique is very effective, it is also invasive and can be uncomfortable for patients, as they need to empty their bowel using laxatives beforehand, they may require sedation during the test and may need to take a whole day off from their normal activities. Strong laxatives can also be harmful to older patients, as they may cause dehydration and disturb their salt levels.

CT colonography (CTC) is an imaging technique that presents a promising, less invasive alternative to colonoscopy. The CTC scan provides images of the lining of the bowel, which has been gently distended with gas, without the need for sedatives. One potentially major advantage of CTC over colonoscopy is its ability to visualize the large bowelwithout the patient having to take strong laxatives. PET scanning produces
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Contact: Amy Shaw
ashaw@snm.org
703-652-6773
Society of Nuclear Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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