Background & aims: Colonoscopy examination does not always detect colorectal cancer (CRC)- some patients develop CRC after negative findings from an examination. When this occurs before the next recommended examination, it is called interval cancer. From a colonoscopy quality assurance perspective, that term is too restrictive, so the term post-colonoscopy colorectal cancer (PCCRC) was created in 2010. However, PCCRC definitions and methods for calculating rates vary among studies, making it impossible to compare results. We aimed to standardize the terminology, identification, analysis, and reporting of PCCRCs and CRCs detected after other whole-colon imaging evaluations (post-imaging colorectal cancers [PICRCs]).
Methods: A 20-member international team of gastroenterologists, pathologists, and epidemiologists; a radiologist; and a non-medical professional met to formulate a series of recommendations, standardize definitions and categories (to align with interval cancer terminology), develop an algorithm to determine most-plausible etiologies, and develop standardized methodology to calculate rates of PCCRC and PICRC. The team followed the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation II tool. A literature review provided 401 articles to support proposed statements; evidence was rated using the GRADE (Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation) system. The statements were voted on anonymously by team members, using a modified Delphi approach.
Results: The team produced 21 statements that provide comprehensive guidance on PCCRCs and PICRCs. The statements present standardized definitions and terms, as well as methods for qualitative review, determination of etiology, calculation of PCCRC rates, and non-colonoscopic imaging of the colon.
Conclusions: A 20-member international team has provided standardized methods for analysis of etiologies of PCCRCs and PICRCs and defines its use as a quality indicator. The team provides recommendations for clinicians, organizations, researchers, policy makers, and patients.
Keywords: AGREE II; CT Colonography; Colonoscopy; Quality Measures.
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