CT colonography in the English Bowel Cancer Screening Programme: national survey of current practice

Clin Radiol. 2013 May;68(5):479-87. doi: 10.1016/j.crad.2012.10.018. Epub 2012 Dec 11.


Aim: To obtain information regarding the provision of computed tomography colonography (CTC) services to the National Health Service (NHS) Bowel Cancer Screening Programme (BCSP).

Materials and methods: Specialist screening practitioners at the 58 BCSP screening centres and lead BCSP radiologists at 110 hospitals performing CTC for the Programme were contacted and completed a semi-structured questionnaire administered by telephone. Responses were collated and descriptive statistics derived.

Results: One hundred and seven (98%) SSPs and 103 (94%) radiologists were surveyed. All screening centres had access to CTC at 110 hospital sites. All sites used CTC for failed or contraindicated colonoscopy, 24% used it for patients taking anticoagulants, and 17% for those with fear of colonoscopy. Patient preference was not an indication at any site. Multidetector CT (100%), carbon dioxide insufflators (94%), and CTC software (95%) were almost universal. Ninety-one percent of radiographers and 98% of radiologists were trained in CTC image acquisition and interpretation, respectively. Seventy-five percent of the radiologists were gastrointestinal subspecialists and two-thirds had interpreted more than 300 examinations in clinical practice, although 5% had interpreted fewer than 100. Eighty-one percent of radiologists favoured some form of accreditation for CTC interpretation.

Conclusions: CTC is widely available to the BCSP. Appropriate hardware and software is almost ubiquitous. Most radiographers and radiologists offering CTC to the BCSP have received specific training. Formal service evaluation is patchy. The majority of radiologists would welcome national accreditation for CTC.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accreditation
  • Clinical Competence / statistics & numerical data*
  • Colonography, Computed Tomographic / methods*
  • Colonography, Computed Tomographic / statistics & numerical data
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Early Detection of Cancer / methods*
  • Early Detection of Cancer / statistics & numerical data
  • Health Care Surveys / methods*
  • Health Care Surveys / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic / methods
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / statistics & numerical data*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United Kingdom