Quick Colonoscopies May Miss Neoplasms

December 14, 2006

ROCKFORD, Ill. -- Even experienced gastroenterologists may miss neoplastic lesions if they hurry through screening colonoscopies, according to a small study here.

ROCKFORD, Ill., Dec. 14 -- Even experienced gastroenterologists may miss neoplastic lesions if they hurry through screening colonoscopies, according to a small study here.

Three of 12 gastroenterologists took less than the recommended minimum of six minutes for withdrawal and found half as many neoplastic and advanced neoplastic lesions as examinations that took more time, said Robert Barclay, M.D., of the University of Illinois College of Medicine here.

"There were large differences among gastroenterologists in the rates of detection of adenomas (range of the mean number of lesions per subject screened, 0.10 to 1.05; range of the percentage of subjects with adenomas, 9.4 to 32.7%) and in their times of withdrawal of the colonoscope from the cecum to the anus (range, 3.1 to 16.8 minutes for procedures during which no polyps were removed)," they reported in the Dec. 14 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

"As compared with colonoscopists with mean withdrawal times of less than six minutes, those with mean withdrawal times of six minutes or more had higher rates of detection of any neoplasia (28.3% vs. 11.8%, P