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Virtual colon screenings examined

s after VC was introduced; the 14 month period after the introduction of VC; and, finally, the six to 14 month period after VC screening was initiated. Period T4 is defined as the time when VC screening has reached its "steady-state," marked by an increase in VC procedures performed and an increase in provider and patient knowledge of the procedure. The average number of OC screenings performed each month did not change significantly after VC was introduced and the percentage of OC involving removal of polyps also remained constant. However, the percentage of OC screening referrals decreased significantly, from 247 per month to 203 per month after VC screening was initiated. According to the researchers, the trend may be an early indicator that there will be an eventual decrease in demand for OC screening.

"This study shows a potential change in the tide of colonoscopy choices. As more medical institutions and health care service providers adopt and reimburse for virtual colonoscopies, we may see a significant decrease in the popularity of more traditional colonoscopy techniques," said Darren C. Schwartz, M.D., University of Wisconsin Medical School and lead study author. "However, differences in accuracy do still exist so it is important for patients and their physicians, especially those at high risk for colon cancer, carefully consider their options when choosing a screening technique."


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Contact: Aimee Frank
newsroom@gastro.org
301-941-2620
American Gastroenterological Association
23-May-2006


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