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Endoscopy. 2014 Mar;46(3):203-11. doi: 10.1055/s-0033-1358831. Epub 2014 Jan 28.

Colonoscopic factors associated with adenoma detection in a national colorectal cancer screening program.

Author information

  • 1Tees Bowel Cancer Screening Centre, University Hospital of North Tees, Stockton-on-Tees, UK.
  • 2South of Tyne Bowel Cancer Screening Centre, South Tyneside District Hospital, South Shields, UK.
  • 3Epidemiology Unit, Richard Doll Building, Oxford, UK.
  • 4Cancer Screening Evaluation Unit, Institute of Cancer Research, University of London, Sutton, London, UK.
  • 5NHS Cancer Screening Programmes, Sheffield, UK.
  • 6Institute of Health and Society, Newcastle University, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK.



Adenoma detection is a key objective of colonoscopy, particularly in the context of colorectal cancer screening. The aim of this observational study was to identify the technical colonoscopy factors associated with adenoma detection.


The study analyzed data from the English Bowel Cancer Screening Programme. The indication for all colonoscopies was a positive fecal occult blood test. The relationships between the following colonoscopy factors and adenoma detection (one or more adenomas, advanced adenomas, right-sided adenomas, and total number of adenomas) were examined in multivariable analyses: bowel preparation quality, cecal intubation, withdrawal time, rectal retroversion, colonoscopist experience, antispasmodic use, sedation use, and start time of procedure. The following patient factors were controlled for: age, sex, body mass index, smoking, alcohol, deprivation, and geographical location.


A total of 31088 colonoscopies were analyzed. The following technical factors increased the relative risk of adenoma detection (P < 0.001 in multivariable analysis unless otherwise stated): cecal intubation, increased withdrawal time, higher quality bowel preparation, intravenous antispasmodic use, earlier procedure start time within a session (P = 0.018), and greater colonoscopist experience. Detection of advanced and right-sided adenomas also increased with these factors. Adenoma detection did not differ between sedated and unsedated colonoscopy (P = 0.143).


This study demonstrated important associations between colonoscopy practice and adenoma detection. Use of intravenous antispasmodic was associated with increased adenoma detection. The effect of the start time of colonoscopy suggests that endoscopist fatigue may have a deleterious impact on adenoma detection.

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.

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  • Endoscopy. 2014 Mar;46(3):262.
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