Laxative-Free CT Colonography Shows Promise, but Needs Fine-Tuning

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Laxative-free CT colonography might be on its way to greater adoption, say researchers at Harvard Medical School, but the technology still has some holes in its game.

US News & World Reports cites an advance study in the Annals of Internal Medicine, in which patients who opted for the virtual colonoscopy ate contrast-enhanced meal supplements instead of the traditional laxative cleanse. Although the study showed that the technique was comparable in finding 10 mm or greater polyps, it didn't detect as many at 6 mm, which is the threshold for removal.

According to the article, Dr. David Weinberg, chairman of medicine at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, said "the virtual procedures do 'an OK but not great job at finding larger polyps that everybody would agree need to be identified...[and] an even less good job at finding smaller polyps that might be significant.'"