Real-time automatic detection system increases colonoscopic polyp and adenoma detection rates: a prospective randomised controlled study

Gut. 2019 Oct;68(10):1813-1819. doi: 10.1136/gutjnl-2018-317500. Epub 2019 Feb 27.


Objective: The effect of colonoscopy on colorectal cancer mortality is limited by several factors, among them a certain miss rate, leading to limited adenoma detection rates (ADRs). We investigated the effect of an automatic polyp detection system based on deep learning on polyp detection rate and ADR.

Design: In an open, non-blinded trial, consecutive patients were prospectively randomised to undergo diagnostic colonoscopy with or without assistance of a real-time automatic polyp detection system providing a simultaneous visual notice and sound alarm on polyp detection. The primary outcome was ADR.

Results: Of 1058 patients included, 536 were randomised to standard colonoscopy, and 522 were randomised to colonoscopy with computer-aided diagnosis. The artificial intelligence (AI) system significantly increased ADR (29.1%vs20.3%, p<0.001) and the mean number of adenomas per patient (0.53vs0.31, p<0.001). This was due to a higher number of diminutive adenomas found (185vs102; p<0.001), while there was no statistical difference in larger adenomas (77vs58, p=0.075). In addition, the number of hyperplastic polyps was also significantly increased (114vs52, p<0.001).

Conclusions: In a low prevalent ADR population, an automatic polyp detection system during colonoscopy resulted in a significant increase in the number of diminutive adenomas detected, as well as an increase in the rate of hyperplastic polyps. The cost-benefit ratio of such effects has to be determined further.

Trial registration number: ChiCTR-DDD-17012221; Results.

Keywords: colonoscopy; colorectal cancer screening; computerised image analysis.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adenoma / diagnosis*
  • Adenoma / epidemiology
  • China / epidemiology
  • Colonic Polyps / diagnosis*
  • Colonic Polyps / epidemiology
  • Colonoscopy / methods*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Early Detection of Cancer / methods*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Time Factors

Associated data

  • ChiCTR/ChiCTR-DDD-17012221