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Clin Radiol. 2001 May;56(5):401-9.

Barium enema and endoscopy for the detection of colorectal neoplasia: sensitivity, specificity, complications and its determinants.

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1
Department of Radiology, Leiden University Medical Center, Albinusdreef 2, NL-2333 ZA Leiden, The Netherlands. i.m.de_zwart@lumc.nl

Abstract

AIM:

To analyse sensitivity, specificity and complication rate of endoscopy, and barium enema for the detection of colorectal neoplasia.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

A MEDLINE search was performed (1980-2000) directed at the endoscopic and radiologic literature on barium enema. Articles were selected based on the type of study, availability of sensitivity and specificity values in sizeable patient groups, and reports on complications. Sixty articles were included in the analysis.

RESULTS:

Endoscopy proved to have superior sensitivity for polyps in patients at high-risk for colorectal neoplasia. The role of endoscopy and radiology in average-risk screening populations is not known. Sensitivity and specificity rates ranged widely, probably due to bias. For the detection of small polyps endoscopy has superior performance, whereas sensitivity is similar for endoscopy and barium enema for the detection of larger (>1 cm) polyps and tumours. Overall, endoscopy is associated with a higher complication rate.

CONCLUSION:

Endoscopy is the preferred detection method in high-risk patients. The role of endoscopy and radiology in a screening setting requires evaluation. This review provides the test characteristics of endoscopy and radiology which are relevant for a cost-effectiveness analysis. Double-contrast barium enema may play an important role for screening purposes, owing to its good sensitivity for detecting larger (>1 cm) polyps and its lack of major complications. de Zwart, I. M.et al. (2001). Clinical Radiology56, 401-409.

PMID:
11384140
DOI:
10.1053/crad.2000.0672
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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