CT colonography: value of scanning in both the supine and prone positions

AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1999 Mar;172(3):595-9. doi: 10.2214/ajr.172.3.10063842.


Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of CT colonography when patients were imaged in both the supine and prone positions. We evaluated whether imaging in two positions decreased the number of collapsed colonic segments and increased sensitivity for polyp detection.

Materials and methods: Twenty-three patients underwent CT colonography in both the supine and prone positions. Colonic distention for each of the 46 scans was graded. Adequacy of distention for either position alone was compared with that of the combination of the two positions. Polyp data revealed by colonoscopy were reviewed, and the CT data were then retrospectively reviewed for polyp detection.

Results: When each scan was considered alone without benefit of the scan obtained in the opposite position, 27 (58.7%) of 46 scans showed inadequate distention. When scans obtained in both positions were considered together, 20 (87.0%) of 23 patients had adequate distention with the grading system used. However, this value increased to 23 (100%) of 23 patients when the reasons for inadequate distention in the three patients were considered. Of the 27 polyps detected with colonoscopy, 21 (77.8%) were also detected retrospectively with CT colonography. Colonoscopy showed 20 polyps that were 5 mm or larger; nineteen (95.0%) of these 20 polyps were also detected retrospectively with CT colonography, nine (47.4%) of which were seen in only one position.

Conclusion: Use of both the supine and prone positions for patients undergoing CT colonography improves evaluation of the colon and increases sensitivity for polyp detection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Colon / diagnostic imaging*
  • Colonic Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Colonic Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Colonic Polyps / diagnosis
  • Colonic Polyps / diagnostic imaging*
  • Colonoscopy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prone Position
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Supine Position
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*