Flexible sigmoidoscopy following a positive faecal occult blood test within a bowel screening programme may reduce the detection of neoplasia

Mansouri, D. , McMillan, D.C. , Roxburgh, C.S.D. , Moug, S.J., Crighton, E.M. and Horgan, P.G. (2013) Flexible sigmoidoscopy following a positive faecal occult blood test within a bowel screening programme may reduce the detection of neoplasia. Colorectal Disease, 15(11), pp. 1375-1381. (doi: 10.1111/codi.12377)

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Aim Colorectal cancer screening using the faecal occult blood test (FOBt) detects a disproportionate number of left-sided tumours. This study aims to examine the theoretical impact on neoplasia detection rates of a sigmoidoscopy-first protocol in FOBt-positive patients undergoing colonoscopy.<p></p> Method From retrieved endoscopy/pathology reports, pathology up to and including the splenic flexure was assumed detectable by sigmoidoscopy. High-risk polyps prompting subsequent colonoscopy were classed as three or more polyps, one polyp of ≥ 1 cm, villous or tubulovillous components or the presence of high-grade dysplasia.<p></p> Results Between April 2009 and April 2011, 4631 patients underwent colonoscopy as a result of a positive FOBt in Greater Glasgow and Clyde. Cancer was detected in 398 (9%) and adenomas were detected in 1985 (47%) of which 1323 (67%) were deemed significant according to British Society of Gastroenterology guidelines. Applying the flexible sigmoidoscopy-first model, cancer would have been detected in 329 (8%) patients and adenomas in 1640 (39%), of which 1140 (70%) would have been significant. In total, 1546 (37%) patients would have required subsequent colonoscopy, following which 21 patients would have a new diagnosis of cancer. The positive predictive values (PPVs) for neoplasia (47 vs 57%, P < 0.001), significant neoplasia (35 vs 41%, P < 0.001) and cancer (8 vs 9%, P = 0.007) were all lower in the sigmoidoscopy-first model.<p></p> Conclusion A significant reduction in the detection of both adenomas and cancers would be seen if the sigmoidoscopy-first protocol were to be used following a positive FOBt. Furthermore, a significant proportion of patients would be subjected to two procedures, with considerable implications for both the patient and cost.<p></p>

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Mansouri, Dr David and Horgan, Professor Paul and McMillan, Professor Donald and Roxburgh, Professor Campbell
Authors: Mansouri, D., McMillan, D.C., Roxburgh, C.S.D., Moug, S.J., Crighton, E.M., and Horgan, P.G.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing
Journal Name:Colorectal Disease
ISSN (Online):1463-1318

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