CT colonography safe alternative for older patients

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Regardless of the presence of diverticular disease and colonic redundancy, computed tomography colonography (CTC) is a useful tool with older patients in imaging the entire colon in most patients, according to a study conducted by researchers from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, Pa.

“Many of the [individuals] referred for CTC were older patients who had experienced problems with conventional colonoscopy,” said Anna Lev-Toaff, MD, lead author of the study.

The study consisted of 42 patients at least 60 years old. Of them, 29 percent underwent CTC because they did not tolerate conventional colonoscopy, whereas 71 percent were referred because colonoscopy was incomplete.

Ninety percent of patients had complete successful scans of their entire colon with no complications. Ninety-three percent of the patients had positive findings on CTC such as diverticular disease and polyps.

According to the study, extracolonic findings were also common, with 62 percent requiring further imaging, and 25 percent of patients needing follow-up or medical or surgical treatment.

“We were pleasantly surprised at the success rate in imaging the entire colon in these challenging patients,” said Lev-Toaff. “Additional imaging was often required to optimally image the colon, most commonly imaging while the patient is lying on the right side to distend the left colon,” she said.

The study was reviewed at the recent American Roentgen Ray Society annual meeting in Orlando, Fla.