CT Colonography For Detection Of Colorectal Polyps

CT Colonography is a new method for detecting colorectal polyps and cancers. This imaging technique is recommended for patients who are unable or unwilling to undergo conventional colonoscopy. Conventional colonoscopy requiring passage of an endoscope through the rectum to the large bowels is increasingly being supplemented by imaging the colon using CT Colonography. The entire procedure takes around 15 minutes. At the beginning of CT Colonography, the colon is filled with carbon dioxide or air with a tube introduced into the rectum.

Polyps are grown in the inner lining of the intestine. Some polyps can be cancerous. The key idea of CT Colonography is to find these growths at an early stage, so that they can be removed before it becomes cancerous. Individuals at increased risk or with a family history of colon cancer are advised to start screening at age 40 or younger at short intervals. Some of the risk factors for this disease are:
  • Individual having a history of polyps
  • Having family history of colon cancer
  • The presence of blood in the stool
CT colonography uses multidetector-row CT to generate data that is eventually converted into 2-dimensional (2D) and 3-dimensional (3D) displays of the colon by computer software.

This imaging technique is better than conventional colonoscopy. It is minimally invasive, consumes less time and does not require any sedation. However, there is still a need for bowel cleansing and insufflations of gas to expand the colon.

Some Of The Benefits Of This Technique Are:

  • Provides three-dimensional images that clearly depict polyps and other lesions as clearly as when they are directly seen by optical colonoscopy.
  • Has markedly lower risk of perforating the colon as compared to conventional colonoscopy.
  • CT colonography is an excellent alternative for patients who have clinical factors such as treatment with a blood thinner or a severe breathing problem that increases the risk of complications from colonoscopy
  • Elderly patients can tolerate CT colonography better than conventional colonoscopy.
  • CT colonography provides clearer and more detailed images as compared to a conventional barium enema x-ray examination.
  • Sedation and pain-relievers are not needed.
This test should be performed once in every five years for average risk individuals. For patients at higher risk for colorectal cancer, need to consult their gastroenterologist for they might require a colonoscopy to remove colon polyps.

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