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      The Miss Rate for Colorectal Adenoma Determined by Quality-Adjusted, Back-to-Back Colonoscopies

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          Colonoscopy is considered to be the gold standard for detecting adenomatous polyps. Polyps are missed during colonoscopic examination at a rate that varies from 6% to 27%. The adenoma miss rate affects colonoscopic surveillance intervals and procedural quality. We aimed to assess the adenoma miss rate and the variables affecting the rate using same-day, quality-adjusted, back-to-back colonoscopies.


          This prospective study was performed at a single institution and included 149 patients. Two consecutive same-day colonoscopies were performed by two experienced endoscopists. The adenoma miss rates and variables affecting the missed adenomas, including polyp characteristics and procedure times, were evaluated.


          The miss rates of polyps, adenomas, and advanced adenomas were 16.8%, 17%, and 5.4%, respectively. The smaller polyps and increased number of polyps detected during the first colonoscopy were more likely to be missed. A longer insertion time during the colonoscopy was correlated with an increased adenoma detection rate.


          There was a significant miss rate in the detection of colonic adenomas even in quality-adjusted, back-to-back colonoscopies. The adenoma miss rate can be reduced with a sufficient observation time during colonoscopic insertion. The development of specific technological methods to reduce the adenoma miss rate is necessary.

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          Most cited references 27

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          Prevention of colorectal cancer by colonoscopic polypectomy. The National Polyp Study Workgroup.

          The current practice of removing adenomatous polyps of the colon and rectum is based on the belief that this will prevent colorectal cancer. To address the hypothesis that colonoscopic polypectomy reduces the incidence of colorectal cancer, we analyzed the results of the National Polyp Study with reference to other published results. The study cohort consisted of 1418 patients who had a complete colonoscopy during which one or more adenomas of the colon or rectum were removed. The patients subsequently underwent periodic colonoscopy during an average follow-up of 5.9 years, and the incidence of colorectal cancer was ascertained. The incidence rate of colorectal cancer was compared with that in three reference groups, including two cohorts in which colonic polyps were not removed and one general-population registry, after adjustment for sex, age, and polyp size. Ninety-seven percent of the patients were followed clinically for a total of 8401 person-years, and 80 percent returned for one or more of their scheduled colonoscopies. Five asymptomatic early-stage colorectal cancers (malignant polyps) were detected by colonoscopy (three at three years, one at six years, and one at seven years). No symptomatic cancers were detected. The numbers of colorectal cancers expected on the basis of the rates in the three reference groups were 48.3, 43.4, and 20.7, for reductions in the incidence of colorectal cancer of 90, 88, and 76 percent, respectively (P < 0.001). Colonoscopic polypectomy resulted in a lower-than-expected incidence of colorectal cancer. These results support the view that colorectal adenomas progress to adenocarcinomas, as well as the current practice of searching for and removing adenomatous polyps to prevent colorectal cancer.
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            Polyp miss rate determined by tandem colonoscopy: a systematic review.

            Colonoscopy is the best available method to detect and remove colonic polyps and therefore serves as the gold standard for less invasive tests such as virtual colonoscopy. Although gastroenterologists agree that colonoscopy is not infallible, there is no clarity on the numbers and rates of missed polyps. The purpose of this systematic review was to obtain summary estimates of the polyp miss rate as determined by tandem colonoscopy. An extensive search was performed within PUBMED, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library databases to identify studies in which patients had undergone two same-day colonoscopies with polypectomy. Random effects models based on the binomial distribution were used to calculate pooled estimates of miss rates. Six studies with a total of 465 patients could be included. The pooled miss rate for polyps of any size was 22% (95% CI: 19-26%; 370/1,650 polyps). Adenoma miss rate by size was, respectively, 2.1% (95% CI: 0.3-7.3%; 2/96 adenomas > or =10 mm), 13% (95% CI: 8.0-18%; 16/124 adenomas 5-10 mm), and 26% (95% CI: 27-35%; 151/587 adenomas 1-5 mm). Three studies reported data on nonadenomatous polyps: zero of eight nonadenomatous polyps > or =10 mm were missed (0%; 95% CI: 0-36.9%) and 83 of 384 nonadenomatous polyps or =10 mm, but the miss rate increases significantly in smaller sized polyps. The available evidence is based on a small number of studies with heterogeneous study designs and inclusion criteria.
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              Colonoscopic withdrawal times and adenoma detection during screening colonoscopy.

              Colonoscopy is commonly used to screen for neoplasia. To assess the performance of screening colonoscopy in everyday practice, we conducted a study of the rates of detection of adenomas and the amount of time taken to withdraw the colonoscope among endoscopists in a large community-based practice. During a 15-month period, 12 experienced gastroenterologists performed 7882 colonoscopies, of which 2053 were screening examinations in subjects who had not previously undergone colonoscopy. We recorded the numbers, sizes, and histologic features of the neoplastic lesions detected during screening, as well as the duration of insertion and of withdrawal of the colonoscope during the procedure. We compared rates of detection of neoplastic lesions among gastroenterologists who had mean colonoscopic withdrawal times of less than 6 minutes with the rates of those who had mean withdrawal times of 6 minutes or more. According to experts, 6 minutes is the minimum length of time to allow adequate inspection during instrument withdrawal. Neoplastic lesions (mostly adenomatous polyps) were detected in 23.5% of screened subjects. 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). As compared with colonoscopists with mean withdrawal times of less than 6 minutes, those with mean withdrawal times of 6 minutes or more had higher rates of detection of any neoplasia (28.3% vs. 11.8%, P<0.001) and of advanced neoplasia (6.4% vs. 2.6%, P=0.005). In this large community-based gastroenterology practice, we observed greater rates of detection of adenomas among endoscopists who had longer mean times for withdrawal of the colonoscope. The effect of variation in withdrawal times on lesion detection and the prevention of colorectal cancer in the context of widespread colonoscopic screening is not known. Ours was a preliminary study, so the generalizability and implications for clinical practice need to be determined by future studies. 2006 Massachusetts Medical Society

                Author and article information

                Gut Liver
                Gut and Liver
                The Korean Society of Gastroenterology; the Korean Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy; the Korean Association for the Study of the Liver; the Korean Society of Neurogastroenterology and Motility; Korean Association for the Study of Intestinal Diseases; Korean College of Helicobacter and Upper Gastrointestinal Research; Korean Pancreatobiliary Association
                January 2012
                12 January 2012
                : 6
                : 1
                : 64-70
                Department of Internal Medicine, Hanyang University College of Medicine, Guri, Korea.
                Author notes
                Correspondence to: Dong Soo Han. Department of Gastroenterology, Hanyang University Guri Hospital, Hanyang University College of Medicine, 249-1 Gyomun 1-dong, Guri 471- 701, Korea. Tel: +82-31-560-2226, Fax: +82-31-555-2998, hands@
                Copyright © 2012 by the Korean Society of Gastroenterology, the Korean Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, the Korean Society of Neurogastroenterology and Motility, Korean College of Helicobacter and Upper Gastrointestinal Research, Korean Association for the Study of Intestinal Diseases, the Korean Association for the Study of the Liver and Korean Pancreatobiliary Association

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Original Article
                Alimentary Tract

                Gastroenterology & Hepatology

                quality, adenoma, colonoscopy, miss rate


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