The study, led by Shabana Pasha, M.D., Gastroenterology, Mayo Clinic in Arizona, looked at both high definition narrow band imaging and high definition white light endoscopy, technology that enhances the images of the lining of the colon, potentially allowing for more precise removal of pre-cancerous polyps during colonoscopy.
The conclusion: There is no significant difference in rates of detection of pre-cancerous polyps — or missed rates of detection — in either procedure, according to the researchers. “Our results confirm the importance of careful scrutiny for polyps by the physician performing the procedure,” says Dr. Pasha. Both high definition narrow band and high definition white light endoscopy appear to meet the goal of improving the detection of lesions, compared with standard white light colonoscopy, Dr. Pasha notes.
Standard colonoscopy utilizes a white light to illuminate the colon, while narrow band imaging uses a blue light, providing higher contrast to detect polyps. It is called “narrow band” imaging because of the narrower wavelength.
Results of the Mayo Clinic study were based on pooled data involving more than nine studies and 3,000 participants.
Mayo researchers note that previous studies on the topic have resulted in conflicting and inconsistent data. While further study is needed, Dr. Pasha explains that a potential advantage of narrow band imaging may be the enhanced recognition of benign polyps versus adenomas, which are pre-cancerous lesions.
Other Mayo Clinic physicians who were part of the research included Jonathan Leighton, M.D.; Edwyn Harrison, M.D.; Suryakanth Gurudu, M.D.; Francisco Ramirez, M.D. and David Fleischer, M.D.
Results of the study were printed in the online version of the American Journal of Gastroenterology.
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