Mobile colonoscopic surveillance provides quality care for hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal carcinoma families in South Africa

Colorectal Dis. 2007 Jul;9(6):509-14. doi: 10.1111/j.1463-1318.2006.01172.x.


Background: It is difficult to provide a colonoscopic surveillance service for at-risk family members with hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal carcinoma when many of those family members live in a remote area of South African far from endoscopic services. A mobile surveillance programme was established to service these individuals.

Objective: The aim of this study was to compare the quality of the mobile service to that provided in established endoscopy units.

Method: Ninety-one asymptomatic subjects with known disease-causing mutations underwent 259 colonoscopies. Of these, 171 colonoscopies were performed by a mobile colonoscopy service in small rural hospitals and 88 in established endoscopy units. The quality of the colonoscopic services was measured by completion rate, the rate of detection of colonoscopic abnormalities, histopathological analyses of biopsies, surgical intervention and colorectal cancer deaths.

Results: The caecum was reached in 96% of all colonoscopies. A significant lesion was detected in 8.8% of colonoscopies. There was no difference in the rate of complete colonoscopy and detection rate of lesions in the established units and the mobile service (both P = 0.6). The rate of detection of early adenocarcinomas was similar (P = 0.17). The colonoscopic screening/surveillance programme meets international standards with a high accuracy (95.75%) and negative predictive value (100%).

Conclusion: The mobile service provides access to colonoscopy in remote areas without compromising the quality of service.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Colonoscopy / methods*
  • Colonoscopy / standards
  • Colorectal Neoplasms, Hereditary Nonpolyposis / diagnosis
  • Colorectal Neoplasms, Hereditary Nonpolyposis / epidemiology*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms, Hereditary Nonpolyposis / genetics
  • Humans
  • Mobile Health Units / standards*
  • Population Surveillance / methods*
  • Quality of Health Care*
  • Rural Health Services / standards
  • South Africa / epidemiology