Background: Colonoscopy is the preferred screening method for colorectal cancer. However, it has a substantial miss rate for colon polyps, and several techniques have been attempted to improve this limitation. Narrow-band imaging (NBI) is a novel technology that enhances the visualization of surface mucosal and vascular patterns.
Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the detection rate of additional polyps by NBI after removal of polyps visualized by standard white light colonoscopy (WLC) and to correlate the surface mucosal and vascular patterns with polyp histologic diagnosis.
Design: This was a prospective pilot feasibility study.
Setting: Kansas City Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
Patients: Subjects referred for screening colonoscopy were prospectively enrolled.
Methods: Subjects underwent colonoscopy after enrollment. After intubation of the cecum, colonic segments were sequentially examined, initially with WLC with removal of polyps followed by re-examination of the same segment with NBI. Additional polyps seen with NBI were photographed for their surface patterns and then removed. The total number of polyps visualized by WLC and NBI was calculated and the surface patterns were then correlated with polyp histologic features.
Results: Forty patients were enrolled in the study, all men, 32 white. The mean age was 62 years. A total of 72 polyps were detected by WLC (43 tubular adenoma, 28 hyperplastic polyps), whereas NBI detected an additional 51 polyps, of which 29 were tubular adenomas and 22 were hyperplastic. Five different surface/vascular patterns were observed: fine capillary network with absent mucosal pattern, circular pattern with dots, round/oval pattern, tubular pattern, and gyrus pattern. The sensitivity, specificity, and overall accuracy of the first two patterns for hyperplastic polyps were 86%, 96%, and 92%, respectively, and of the latter three patterns for tubular adenomas were 96%, 86%, and 92%, respectively.
Conclusions: This pilot study demonstrates the feasibility of polyp detection and histologic correlation with NBI. These findings need to be confirmed in future randomized controlled trials.