The detection of premalignant colon polyps during colonoscopy is stable throughout the workday

Gastrointest Endosc. 2011 Jun;73(6):1197-206. doi: 10.1016/j.gie.2011.01.019. Epub 2011 Mar 11.


Background: Recent studies have shown that colonoscopic polyp detection decreases as the workday progresses. This may reflect time-dependent factors such as colonoscopist fatigue and decreased colon cleanliness, which can be addressed through adaptations in colonoscopy practice.

Objective: To test for time-of-day differences in adenomatous polyp (AP) and sessile serrated polyp (SSP) detection in a practice that uses split-dose bowel preparation and moderated daily colonoscopist procedure loads.

Design: Retrospective chart review.

Setting: Community-based, group gastroenterology practice.

Patients: This study involved 2439 patients undergoing surveillance or screening colonoscopy.

Intervention: Colonoscopy.

Main outcome measurements: Detection rate of all premalignant polyps (PMPs), and of APs and SSPs, individually.

Results: A total of 1183 PMPs were identified in 1486 eligible patients (mean PMP/colonoscopy = 0.80; PMP detection rate = 47%). In univariate and multivariate analyses, PMP detection as well as detection of APs or SSPs individually did not vary significantly in relation to the hour of the day. In a binary comparison of morning (am) versus afternoon (pm) procedures, the total polyp detection rate was 67% and 66%, respectively. For PMPs, APs, SSPs, and hyperplastic polyps (HPs), the am and pm detection rates were 46% and 47%, 41% and 44%, 8% and 8%, and 27% and 24%, respectively. Bowel preparation quality was independent of time of day and was rated excellent or good in 86% to 87% of cases.

Limitations: Retrospective, nonrandomized study.

Conclusion: Stable PMP, AP, SSP, and HP detection rates throughout the workday occur under certain practice conditions, including the use of split-dose bowel preparation and/or moderated daily colonoscopist procedure loads.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenomatous Polyps / diagnosis*
  • Colonic Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Colonic Polyps / diagnosis*
  • Colonic Polyps / pathology
  • Colonoscopy*
  • Diagnostic Errors / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Time Factors
  • Workload