Polyp characterization at colonoscopy: Clinical implications

Best Pract Res Clin Gastroenterol. 2017 Aug;31(4):435-440. doi: 10.1016/j.bpg.2017.07.001. Epub 2017 Jul 6.


Although advancements in endoscopic imaging of colorectal mucosa have outstripped the pace of research in the field, the potential clinical applications of these novel technologies are promising. Chief among these is the ability to diagnose colorectal polyps in vivo. This feature appears most applicable to diminuitive polyps, which have very little malignant potential yet represent over 70% of resected polyps. In an ideal application, the capability to predict diminutive hyperplastic polyp histology in vivo precludes the need for excision whereas dimunitive adenomas do require excision, but not necessarily histopathologic analysis if the diagnosis is made in vivo with adequate confidence. However, the vast array of new advanced imaging modalities and polyp classification tools have been difficult to reconcile. We aim to highlight the current status of real-time colorectal polyp diagnosis and identify the barriers that remain to its widespread implementation.

Keywords: Colonoscopy; Electronic chromoendoscopy; Narrow band imaging; Polypectomy; Resect and discard.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Colonic Polyps / diagnostic imaging*
  • Colonic Polyps / pathology
  • Colonoscopy / methods*
  • Humans