Olympus America

Press Center

Olympus Position on CT Colonography

Center Valley, PA, September 23, 2008 - With regard to the National CT Colonography Trial, published in The New England Journal of Medicine on 9/18/08, Olympus agrees with and supports the position of the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy.  Like ASGE, Olympus believes that any advances which improve the rate of colorectal cancer screening are encouraging. ASGE and Olympus encourage patients to speak to their Gastroenterologist about the screening method that is best for them.  

Colonoscopy remains the gold standard for detection and removal of early colorectal cancer and precancerous polyps. Olympus strongly believes in the importance of early detection of colorectal cancer (CRC), and supports current CRC guidelines which emphasize that colon cancer prevention should be the primary goal of screening.

Published clinical trials report that CT Colonography:

  • Is less effective than colonoscopy in detecting small polyps.
  • Does not have the ability to remove polyps, unlike colonoscopy.
  • Requires the insertion of a small tube in the rectum and insufflation (inflation) of air into the colon, which can be uncomfortable.
  • Exposes the patient to cumulative doses of radiation.
  • Requires more frequent screening intervals of 5 years compared to 10 years for colonoscopy, according to American Cancer Society guidelines.
  • If a polyp is detected, the patient must subsequently undergo a separate colonoscopy to remove the polyp.
  • Requires the same bowel prep as colonoscopy
  • Is not currently covered by Medicare as an initial screening test.
  • Results from a few select specialized centers have not been replicated elsewhere.

Colon cancer, the second most common form of cancer in the US, has up to a 90 percent survival rate if detected early.  We urge everyone over 50 or at high risk to be screened.

Please visit http://www.asge.org/PressroomIndex.aspx?id=5038 to read the full ASGE statement.