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Computed tomography colonography versus colonoscopy for the diagnosis of colorectal cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Ralph B Duarte, Wanderley M Bernardo, Christiano M Sakai, Gustavo Lr Silva, Hugo G Guedes, Rogerio Kuga, Edson Ide, Robson K Ishida, Paulo Sakai, Eduardo Gh de Moura
Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management 2018, 14: 349-360
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality. Optical colonoscopy (OC) is the first choice of investigation for assessing the state of the colon and it is excellent for CRC screening. Newer technologies such as computed tomography colonography (CTC) may also be useful in CRC screening. This systematic review compares the benefits of CTC and OC for CRC screening. This review includes all the available randomized clinical trials comparing CTC and OC for CRC screening in asymptomatic patients. Three studies were included in the systematic review and were submitted for meta-analysis. In the analysis of participation rates, only 2,333 of 8,104 (29%) patients who were invited for screening underwent the CTC, and only 1,486 of the 7,310 (20%) patients who were invited for screening underwent OC. The absolute risk difference in participation rate in the two procedures was 0.1 (95% CI, 0.05-0.14) in favor of CTC. In the analysis of advanced colorectal neoplasia (ACN) detection rates, 2,357 patients undergoing CTC and 1,524 patients undergoing OC were included. Of these, 135 patients (5.7%) who underwent a CTC and 130 patients (8.5%) who underwent an OC were diagnosed with ACN. The absolute risk difference in ACN detection rate in the two procedure types was -0.02 (with a 95% CI between -0.04 and -0.00) in favor of OC. CTC is an option for CRC screening in asymptomatic patients. However, as CTC was inferior in detecting ACN, it should not replace OC, which remains the gold standard.

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