Optimization of CT colonography technique: prospective trial in 180 patients

Radiology. 2000 Sep;216(3):704-11. doi: 10.1148/radiology.216.3.r00au41704.


Purpose: To assess the added benefits of prone positioning in addition to supine positioning and oral iodinated contrast medium for help in the detection of colonic polyps at computed tomographic (CT) colonography.

Materials and methods: CT colonography was performed in prone and supine positions in 180 patients with polyps or risk factors for colonic neoplasia. Patients were randomly assigned to receive a standard bowel preparation or a standard preparation plus oral iodinated contrast medium. One radiologist interpreted supine images alone, and another analyzed supine and prone images. All patients subsequently underwent colonoscopy.

Results: At colonoscopy, 121 large (> or =1-cm-diameter) polyps and 142 smaller (0.5-0.9-cm) polyps were identified. Prone positioning resulted in increased sensitivity for identification of patients with large (> or =1-cm) polyps (increase from 70% to 85%, P: =.004) and of patients with polyps 0.5 cm or larger (increase from 75% to 88%, P: <.005), with no change in specificity. Use of oral contrast medium did not significantly improve polyp detection even in the subset of patients in whom colonic fluid attenuation was markedly increased.

Conclusion: Acquisition and review of supine and prone CT colonographic images significantly improves the ability to identify patients with polyps 0.5 cm in diameter or larger. Administration of oral iodinated contrast medium does not significantly improve polyp detection.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Colon / diagnostic imaging*
  • Colonic Polyps / diagnostic imaging*
  • Contrast Media
  • Diatrizoate Meglumine
  • Humans
  • Prone Position
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Supine Position
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*


  • Contrast Media
  • Diatrizoate Meglumine