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Endoscopic scar assessment after colorectal endoscopic mucosal resection scars: when is biopsy necessary (EMR Scar Assessment Project for Endoscope (ESCAPE) trial)


Objective It is unclear whether endoscopic assessment of scars after colorectal endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR) has to include biopsies, even if endoscopy is negative. Vice versa, endoscopic diagnosis of recurrent adenoma may not require biopsy before endoscopic reinterventions. We prospectively analysed various endoscopic modalities in the diagnosis of recurrence following EMR.

Design We conducted a prospective study of patients undergoing colonoscopy after EMR of large (≥20 mm) colorectal neoplasia. Endoscopists predicted recurrence and confidence level with four imaging modes: high-definition white light (WL) and narrow-band imaging (NBI) with and without near focus (NF). Separately, 26 experienced endoscopists assessed offline images.

Results Two hundred and thirty patients with 255 EMR scars were included. The prevalence of recurrent adenoma was 24%. Diagnostic values were high for all modes (negative predictive value (NPV) ≥97%, positive predictive value (PPV) ≥81%, sensitivity ≥90%, specificity ≥93% and accuracy ≥93%). In high-confidence cases, NBI with NF had NPV of 100% (95% CI 98% to 100%) and sensitivity of 100% (95% CI 93% to 100%). Use of clips at initial EMR increased diagnostic inaccuracy (adjusted OR=1.68(95% CI 1.01 to 2.75)). In offline assessment, specificity was high for all imaging modes (mean: ≥93% (range: 55%–100%)), while sensitivity was significantly higher for NBI-NF (82%(72%–93%)%)) compared with WL (69%(38%–86%); p<0.001), WL-NF (68%(55%–83%); p<0.001) and NBI (71%(59%–90%); p<0.001).

Conclusion Our study demonstrates very high sensitivity and accuracy for all four imaging modalities, especially NBI with NF, for diagnosis of recurrent neoplasia after EMR. Our data strongly suggest that in cases of high confidence negative optical diagnosis based on NBI-NF, no biopsy is needed to confirm absence of recurrence during colorectal EMR follow-up. A high confidence positive optical diagnosis can lead to immediate resection of any suspicious area. In all cases of low confidence, biopsy is still required.

Trial registration number NCT02668198.

  • colonoscopy
  • endoscopic procedures
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