BACKGROUND: Computed tomography-colonography is a diagnostic modality that can be used when the colon is not completely intubated during colonoscopy. It may have the additional advantage that information on extracolonic lesions can be obtained.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to investigate the yield of CT-colonography of relevant intra- and extracolonic findings in patients after incomplete colonoscopy.
DESIGN: This was an observational, retrospective study.
DATA SOURCES: Data were be obtained from standardized radiology and endoscopy reports and electronic medical records.
STUDY SELECTION: In total, 136 consecutive CT-colonographies performed after incomplete colonoscopy were evaluated.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: All intra- and extracolonic findings on CT-colonography were recorded and interpreted for clinical relevance, and it was determined whether further diagnostic and/or therapeutic workup was indicated.
RESULTS: Major indications for colonoscopy included iron-deficiency anemia (25.7%), hematochezia (20.6%), change in bowel habits (18.4%), and colorectal cancer screening or surveillance (11.0%). Major reasons for incomplete colonoscopy were a fixed colon (34.6%) and strong angulation of the sigmoid colon (17.6%). Introduction of the colonoscope was limited to the left-sided colon in 53.7% of cases. Incomplete colonoscopy detected colorectal cancer in 12 (8.8%) patients and adenomatous polyps in 27 (19.9%) patients. CT-colonography after incomplete colonoscopy additionally revealed 19 polyps in 15 (11.0%) and a nonsynchronous colorectal cancer in 4 (2.9%) patients. CT-colonography also detected extracolonic findings with clinical consequences in 8 (5.9%) patients, including fistulizing diverticulitis (n = 3), gastric tumor (n = 2), liver abscess (n = 1), osteomyelitis (n = 1), and an infected embolus in both renal arteries (n = 1).
LIMITATIONS: This study was limited by the lack of confirmation of intraluminal CT-colonography findings in a subset of patients.
CONCLUSIONS: Computed tomography-colonography can be of added value in patients with incomplete colonoscopy, because it revealed 27 relevant additional (both intra- and extracolonic) lesions in 19.1% of patients. In cases where CT-colonography detected colorectal cancer after incomplete colonoscopy, it can also be used for staging purposes.