Virtual colonoscopy or regular colonoscopy? Traditional optical colonoscopy? Which colorectal cancer screening method has the advantage? When virtual colonoscopy is the best cancer screening method? Leading virtual colonoscopy screening expert discusses CT colonography.
Colon cancer is the second most deadly cancer in the world. 1.5 million people get colon cancer diagnosis every year. Dr. Anton Titov, MD. Yet colon cancer is completely preventable. Virtual colonoscopy is able to detect colorectal cancer with similar accuracy compared with regular optical colonoscopy. It is also known as CT colonography. You are the lead author of a seminal clinical trial that compared virtual colonoscopy with regular optical colonoscopy. Dr. Anton Titov, MD. Your clinical trial on virtual colonoscopy was published in the world's most prestigious medical journal, New England Journal of Medicine. Dr. Anton Titov, MD. What are the advantages of virtual colonoscopy? Dr. Perry Pickhardt, MD. Well, over time we have seen virtual colonoscopy to be just as effective as regular colonoscopy. It is the invasive method for identifying the polyps and cancers that matter. These are advanced neoplasms. This is, of course, very important. CT colonography actually is much less invasive. It requires no needles, no IV medication and no sedation. There is no recovery time. You can immediately return to your regular activities. You don't need a driver to take you home, for example. Dr. Perry Pickhardt, MD. We also evaluate a lot of areas outside of the colon during virtual colonoscopy. We find more cancers outside of the colon than within the colon. It is a general abdominal computed tomography screen. We can screen for osteoporosis and abdominal aneurysms and other processes. We can screen for fatty liver by doing virtual colonoscopy. Dr. Anton Titov, MD. Other advantages include comfort for the patient. Patients have repeatedly shown that they prefer virtual colonoscopy over optical colonoscopy. Anyone who has had both tests, there has been a wide margin of favoring CT colonography. There is no sedation for virtual colonoscopy. Dr. Perry Pickhardt, MD. Patients are heavily sedated for regular colonoscopy. It is the prolonged recovery time that they remember from that colonoscopy test. There are a number of advantages of virtual colonoscopy, Some of them relate to the relatively non-invasive approach. But also because virtual colonoscopy is just as effective as regular colonoscopy in identifying the lesions that matter. Dr. Perry Pickhardt, MD. CT colonography could be even more effective. It is possible that virtual colonoscopy is even more sensitive. Dr. Anton Titov, MD. Virtual colonoscopy detects more colon cancers and precancerous lesions compared with the optical colonoscopy? Dr. Perry Pickhardt, MD. Yeah. In fact we have found no test is perfect, of course. But the cancers that can be missed in optical colonoscopy are sometimes right-sided colon cancers or advanced adenomas. They can be hiding behind folds. But these areas are very easy for us to identify. Because we have really no physical constraints in terms of detection. There is definitely a complementary nature between virtual colonoscopy and optical colonoscopy. Dr. Perry Pickhardt, MD. But I believe that is true. In the end, virtual colonoscopy is probably slightly better at identifying some of these important lesions. It is amazing how the virtualization and the use of technology helps in medicine. It really improves the ability of the people to look at previously challenging situations. Dr. Anton Titov, MD. This is true also in many other applications outside of healthcare. Virtual colonoscopy or optical “regular colonoscopy”? Which is better? virtual colonoscopy vs regular colonoscopy comparison provided by leading colorectal cancer screening expert. There are many risks and complications from regular colonoscopy. Risk of bleeding, infection bowel perforation, toxicity and dehydration after drinking many laxatives. Virtual colonoscopy (CT colonography) avoids all these risks of regular colonoscopy. Virtual colonoscopy lets doctor “walk” through your colon in computer simulation. virtual colonoscopy, also known as CT colonography, is able to detect colorectal cancer with similar accuracy compared with regular optical colonoscopy. Virtual colonoscopy can evaluate organs outside of the colon. CT colonography is general abdominal screen – for osteoporosis, abdominal aneurysms and other cancers. We can screen for fatty liver too by doing virtual colonoscopy. CT colonography has advantages over regular colonoscopy, Especially the comfort for the patient. Patients have repeatedly shown that they prefer virtual colonoscopy over regular optical colonoscopy.