Study Backs Virtual Colonoscopy

Computer scan as effective as invasive procedure
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 18, 2008 6:42 AM CDT
A 3-D image from a virtual colonoscopy. A new study has found that a virtual colonoscopy is almost as accurate as more invasive procedures.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – A new study has found a virtual colonoscopy to be almost as effective as a conventional invasive procedure in detecting colon cancer, USA Today reports. Virtual colonoscopies, using scans and computer imaging, discovered 90% of the cancers located by regular colonoscopies, in which a scope is physically passed through the colon, according to the study in the New England Journal of Medicine.    

Gastroenterologists tend to prefer conventional colonoscopies for a number of reasons. Polyps can be located and removed during a single procedure. Virtual exams locate only 65% of smaller polyps and expose the patient to substantial radiation, say critics.