Colonoscopic factors associated with adenoma detection in a national colorectal cancer screening program

Endoscopy. 2014 Mar;46(3):203-11. doi: 10.1055/s-0033-1358831. Epub 2014 Jan 28.


Background and study aims: Adenoma detection is a key objective of colonoscopy, particularly in the context of colorectal cancer screening. The aim of this observational study was to identify the technical colonoscopy factors associated with adenoma detection.

Patients and methods: The study analyzed data from the English Bowel Cancer Screening Programme. The indication for all colonoscopies was a positive fecal occult blood test. The relationships between the following colonoscopy factors and adenoma detection (one or more adenomas, advanced adenomas, right-sided adenomas, and total number of adenomas) were examined in multivariable analyses: bowel preparation quality, cecal intubation, withdrawal time, rectal retroversion, colonoscopist experience, antispasmodic use, sedation use, and start time of procedure. The following patient factors were controlled for: age, sex, body mass index, smoking, alcohol, deprivation, and geographical location.

Results: A total of 31088 colonoscopies were analyzed. The following technical factors increased the relative risk of adenoma detection (P < 0.001 in multivariable analysis unless otherwise stated): cecal intubation, increased withdrawal time, higher quality bowel preparation, intravenous antispasmodic use, earlier procedure start time within a session (P = 0.018), and greater colonoscopist experience. Detection of advanced and right-sided adenomas also increased with these factors. Adenoma detection did not differ between sedated and unsedated colonoscopy (P = 0.143).

Conclusion: This study demonstrated important associations between colonoscopy practice and adenoma detection. Use of intravenous antispasmodic was associated with increased adenoma detection. The effect of the start time of colonoscopy suggests that endoscopist fatigue may have a deleterious impact on adenoma detection.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adenoma / diagnosis*
  • Aged
  • Cecum
  • Clinical Competence
  • Colon, Ascending / pathology
  • Colonoscopy / standards*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Deep Sedation / statistics & numerical data
  • Early Detection of Cancer / standards*
  • England
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intubation, Gastrointestinal
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parasympatholytics / administration & dosage
  • Time Factors


  • Parasympatholytics