SATURDAY, May 18 (HealthDay News) -- A new device that gives doctors a better view during colonoscopies may help them miss fewer suspicious growths during those exams, a new study shows.
Colonoscopies are the recommended screening tests for colorectal cancer, which is the second leading cancer killer of men and women in the United States.
To perform a colonoscopy, doctors use a long, flexible tube with a camera mounted on the end called a colonoscope to view the lining of the large intestine.
The basic design of those devices hasn't changed in about 30 years, said study author Dr. Ian Gralnek, a senior physician at the department of gastroenterology at Rambam Health Care Campus and Elisha Hospital in Haifa, Israel.
And the design isn't perfect. A February 2006 study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology found that traditional colonoscopies missed 22 percent of polyps. Polyps are fleshy growths on the walls of the colon that can turn into cancers if they aren't removed.
Part of the problem, Gralnek explained, is that scopes only have one forward-facing camera, which gives doctors a 170-degree view. That makes it easy to miss polyps, which often grow behind fleshy folds on the colon walls.
To improve detection, an Israeli company has designed a new colonoscope, called the Full Spectrum Endoscopy, or FUSE. The FUSE colonoscope uses three cameras mounted on the front and sides of a flexible arm to give doctors a 330-degree view as they work. EndoChoice of Alpharetta, Ga., the company that's acquired the rights to the device, funded the study.
Gralnek tested the new technology by asking 183 stalwart patients to undergo back-to-back colonoscopies.
About half of the patients were randomly assigned to have a colonoscopy with a traditional colonoscope, followed by the same test using the new FUSE scope. In the other half, the order
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