Mayo Clinic LogoColonoscopy is said to be an endoscopic assessment of the colon and the distal part of the small bowel via a CCD camera or a fiber optic camera on a flexible tube passed through the anus. It could offer a visual diagnosis of ulceration, polyps and provide a chance for biopsy or eradication of alleged lesions. Well, a new study from Mayo Clinic, Florida, claims that high-definition colonoscopy appears to be much more sensitive as compared to standard colonoscopy in locating polyps which could turn cancerous.

Experts mentioned that their findings are not only imperative since a large group consisting of 2,430 patients took part in the study but they apparently resulted from the only study to date that has supposedly compared these two techniques in a general clinical practice setting. The study was performed among all the patients who required a colonoscopy and with all the physicians who conducted it.

“There hasn’t been a definitive trial to see whether high-definition colonoscopy detects more polyps or not, and this was a natural experiment, designed to ask if use of one endoscope or another makes a difference in day-to-day clinical practice. Based on these results, it appears that high-definition colonoscopy detects more precancerous polyps,” commented Study’s senior investigator, gastroenterologist Michael Wallace, M.D., a professor of medicine at the College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic.

An endoscope is said to be a lighted tube included into the colon and rectum to search for, and eliminate, polyps. Dr. Walace mentioned that a high-definition endoscope utilized high-definition video chip as well as HD monitors that supposedly enlarges the resolution of the image.

Patients were apparently not allocated one scope or the other. Instead, they were positioned in any room that was available and were administered by a gastroenterologist who was on duty at that time.

Dr Wallace remarked, “So there was a natural randomization of patients to either standard or high-definition endoscopes, and physicians were not able to cherry-pick their patients. No doctors used high definition more than any other and, in this way, you can eliminate most of the variables that can bias results of a clinical trial.”

Experts found that the pace of recognition of adenomas i.e. polyps that may probably turn cancerous was seen in about 29 percent among patients who were examined with high-definition endoscopes, against 24 percent for those in which standard endoscopes were utilized.

The findings were presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology in San Diego, Calif.