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New gold standard for colonoscopy

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Virtua’s comprehensive colon cancer program brings together a continuum of advanced diagnostic, medical and surgical treatment.

In vivo colonoscopy is now the gold standard for detecting colorectal cancer at a stage when it is most curable. “HDTV narrow-band imaging brings an important new visual dimension to this screening modality,” says Jeffrey Sorokin, MD, Virtua gastroenterologist.

The HDTV component provides a 100 percent increase in picture clarity versus traditional colonoscopy. And, its narrow band imaging (NBI) capability creates a more enhanced picture of the mucosa and capillary architecture because it only penetrates superficial tissue. Jeffrey Kutscher, MD, chief of Gastroenterology at Virtua Memorial explains: “This technology provides a critical visual benefit since a predominant feature of pre-malignant and malignant tissue is a large capillary network.”

A recent Yale University School of Medicine study of 302 patients compares conventional “white light” colonoscopy with narrow band imaging to distinguish between adenomatous and nonadenomatous polyps during colonoscopy. Each detected polyp was viewed with both white light (WL) and with narrow band imaging (NBI). The lesion was classified for accuracy, sensitivity and specificity. After an initial learning curve, in the second half of the study, the narrow band imaging accuracy improved and “performed significantly better” than conventional white light endocopy for detecting adenomatous and nonadenomatous polyps – from 87 percent for NBI versus 79 percent for WL (p<0.05).

“This technology appears to have great potential in the diagnosis of colorectal cancer, however, as with all technology, its utility will be proven through further clinical evidence and investigation,” Dr. Sorokin concludes.