Virtual Colonoscopies Show Value For Some Patients, But Polyps Will Be Missed

News — By on April 7, 2009 at 6:35 am

PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa. — The value of CT colonography, also called virtual colonoscopy, is under debate as Medicare considers halting coverage of these procedures as a diagnostic method for detecting colorectal cancer and precancerous growths. Research findings from meta-analyses performed by ECRI Institute suggest that CT colonography appears most promising for screening asymptomatic, average-risk patients; however, it will miss some important polyps and cancer that would have been detected by colonoscopy. For asymptomatic high-risk patients and symptomatic patients, the percentage of patients correctly identified as having colorectal polyps or cancer may be too low to be useful. “While some patients may prefer CT colo…

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