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Gut 53:376-380 doi:10.1136/gut.2003.029868
  • Colon cancer

Detecting diminutive colorectal lesions at colonoscopy: a randomised controlled trial of pan-colonic versus targeted chromoscopy

  1. D P Hurlstone1,
  2. S S Cross2,
  3. R Slater3,
  4. D S Sanders1,
  5. S Brown3
  1. 1Gastroenterology and Liver Unit, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield, UK
  2. 2Academic Unit of Pathology, Section of Oncology and Pathology, Division of Genomic Medicine, University of Sheffield Medical School, Sheffield, UK
  3. 3Department of Surgery, Northern General Hospital NHS Trust, Sheffield, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr D P Hurlstone
    17 Alexandra Gardens, Lyndhurst Rd, Nether Edge, Sheffield S11 9DQ, UK; p.hurlstoneshef.ac.uk
  • Accepted 28 October 2003

Abstract

Background: Diminutive and flat colorectal lesions can be difficult to detect using conventional colonoscopic techniques. Previous data have suggested that pan-chromoscopy may improve detection rates. No randomised control trial has been performed examining detection rates of such lesions while controlling for extubation time and lavage effect.

Aim: We conducted a randomised controlled trial of pan-colonic chromoscopic colonoscopy for the detection of diminutive and flat colorectal lesions while controlling for extubation time and lavage effect.

Methods: Consecutive patients attending for routine colonoscopy were randomised to either pan-chromoscopy using 0.5% indigo carmine (IC) or targeted chromoscopy (control group). A minimum diagnostic extubation time was set at eight minutes with controls undergoing a matched volume of saline wash.

Results: A total of 260 patients were randomised; 132 controls and 128 to pan-colonic chromoscopy. Extubation times did not differ significantly between the control (median 15 minutes (range 8–41)) and chromoscopy (median 17 minutes (range 8–39)) groups. The volume of IC used in the pan-chromoscopy group (median 68 ml (range 65–90)) and normal saline used in the control group (69 ml (range 60–93)) did not differ significantly. There was a statistically significant difference between the groups regarding the total number of adenomas detected (p<0.05) with significantly more diminutive (<4 mm) adenomas detected in the pan-chromoscopy group (p = 0.03). Pan-chromoscopy diagnosed more diminutive and flat lesions in the right colon compared with controls (p<0.05), with more patients with multiple adenomas (>3) detected using pan-chromoscopy (p<0.01). Hyperplastic lesions were more commonly detected in the pan-chromoscopy group compared with controls (p<0.001). More hyperplastic polyps were detected in the left colon (86% rectosigmoid) using chromoscopy compared with controls.

Conclusion: Chromoscopy improves the total number of adenomas detected and enhances the detection of diminutive and flat lesions. Importantly, eight diminutive lesions had foci of high grade dysplasia. Chromoscopy may benefit patients, assuming a high risk of colorectal cancer, and help in risk stratification and planning follow up colonoscopy intervals.

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