UCLA Gastroenterologist: Colonoscopy is an 'Imperfect Test'

Brennan M.R. Spiegel, MD, associate professor of medicine at UCLA, says although colonoscopy is the only colorectal cancer screening test that allows physicians to identify and remove polyps from the entire colon, the screening modality is still an "imperfect test."

In an article published in Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, Dr. Spiegel says an increasing body of literature suggests adenoma detection rates depend on experience, skill, patient adherence to bowel preparation and other patient, provider and procedural variables. Other studies suggest the time of day at which a colonoscopy is performed may impact the outcomes of a colonoscopy, he said.

Responding to suggestions that time of day would negatively affect polyp detection rates, Dr. Speigel said patients should be more concerned with the skill level of their endoscopists than with when their screening procedures are scheduled. However, GI physicians should still maintain a level of "self-awareness" if they believe the time of day may be affecting their colonoscopy cases.

Read Dr. Spiegel's thoughts on colonoscopy.

Read other coverage about colonoscopies:

- Coder's Guide to Surgery Center Colonoscopies

- Adenoma Detection Rate Associated With Risk of CRC

- Study: Method for Predicting Colon Cancer in Mice May Lead to Replacement for Colonoscopies

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