Nurse observation during colonoscopy increases polyp detection: a randomized prospective study

Am J Gastroenterol. 2013 Feb;108(2):166-72. doi: 10.1038/ajg.2012.237.


Objectives: To determine whether a second observer during colonoscopy increases adenoma detection.

Methods: Consecutive patients undergoing screening colonoscopy were prospectively randomized to routine colonoscopy or physician and nurse observation during withdrawal.

Results: Of 502 patients, 249 were randomized to routine colonoscopy, and 253 to physician plus nurse observation during withdrawal. A total of 592 polyps were detected, 40 identified by the endoscopy nurse only. With nurse observation, 1.32 polyps and 0.82 adenomas were found per colonoscopy, vs. 1.03 polyps and 0.64 adenomas in the routine group, demonstrating a 1.29-fold and a 1.28-fold increase in the average number of polyps and of adenomas detected, respectively. The overall adenoma detection rate (ADR) was 44.1%, with trends toward increased ADR and all-polyp detection rate with nurse observation.

Conclusions: Nurse observation during colonoscopy resulted in an increase in the number of polyps and adenomas found per colonoscopy, along with a trend toward improved overall ADR and all-polyp detection rate.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adenoma / diagnosis*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Colonic Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Colonic Polyps / diagnosis*
  • Colonoscopy / standards*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening* / methods
  • Middle Aged
  • Nurses / statistics & numerical data*
  • Observer Variation*
  • Prospective Studies