Two studies published in Gastrointestinal Endoscopy suggest that a new device called the Endocuff could boost a gastroenterologist’s ability to detect precancerous polyps called adenomas.
Mechanics of a Colonoscopy
During a colonoscopy, a GI doctor inserts a flexible tube called a colonoscope into the rectum and extends it to the farthest point in the large intestine known as the cecum. The colonoscope is equipped with a tiny camera that transmits live video to a monitor. As the tube is withdrawn, the doctor examines the colon wall for adenomas and removes suspicious growths.
Adenoma detection rate (ADR) is the primary indicator of the quality of a colonoscopy procedure because adenoma removal is associated with decreased colon cancer risk. Therefore, any method or device that enhances a physician’s ability to detect polyps or lesions has the potential to lower colon cancer incidence.
The Endocuff was designed to smooth out folds in the colon wall and help maintain colonoscope stability during withdrawal. Another quality measure of an effective colonoscopy is withdrawal time, the number of minutes it takes for a physician to view the colon from cecum to rectum. The Endocuff can help improve withdrawal time by steadying the scope and preventing it from slipping. The flexible arms on the disposable attachment can help anchor the colonoscope to improve visualization and prevent missed adenomas.
In one clinical study, the Endocuff enhanced visualization of the colon and boosted physician ADR by 16 percent. The Endocuff’s ability to stabilize the colonoscope reduced average withdrawal time, suggesting that the cuff can help achieve a more thorough colonoscopy in a shorter amount of time.
Adenoma detection rate has historically been determined by a physician’s skill, experience and imaging technology. Although the Endocuff requires additional testing, this new technology may become a valuable component of endoscopy and may contribute to higher adenoma detection rates.
The American Cancer Society now recommends that people of average risk for colon cancer have a baseline colonoscopy at age 45 instead of 50. If you have not scheduled a colonoscopy or have questions about the procedure, make an appointment with a gastroenterologist today.