According to researchers from the Mayo Clinic it appears that high-definition colonoscopy detects more precancerous polyps. The difference could be as much as 20 percent.
Approximately 14 million colonoscopies are performed each year according to the American Association for Critical Illness Insurance, the industry organization that tracks and reports data related to critical illnesses. Some 745,000 men were diagnosed with cancer each year, roughly 10 percent with colon cancer.
The findings, presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology in San Diego, Calif., are not only important because a large group (2,430) of patients participated, but they resulted from the only study to date that has compared these two methods in a general clinical practice setting, among all the patients who needed a colonoscopy and with all the physicians who performed it.
An endoscope is the lighted tube inserted into the colon and rectum to look for, and remove, polyps. A high-definition endoscope uses both a high-definition video chip and HD monitors (like HD television) that increase the resolution of the image.
Researchers found that the rate of detection of adenomas — polyps that are likely to become cancerous — was 29 percent among patients who were scanned with high-definition endoscopes, versus 24 percent for those in which standard endoscopes were used.