Real-Time Computer-Aided Detection of Colorectal Neoplasia During Colonoscopy : A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Ann Intern Med. 2023 Sep;176(9):1209-1220. doi: 10.7326/M22-3678. Epub 2023 Aug 29.


Background: Artificial intelligence computer-aided detection (CADe) of colorectal neoplasia during colonoscopy may increase adenoma detection rates (ADRs) and reduce adenoma miss rates, but it may increase overdiagnosis and overtreatment of nonneoplastic polyps.

Purpose: To quantify the benefits and harms of CADe in randomized trials.

Design: Systematic review and meta-analysis. (PROSPERO: CRD42022293181).

Data sources: Medline, Embase, and Scopus databases through February 2023.

Study selection: Randomized trials comparing CADe-assisted with standard colonoscopy for polyp and cancer detection.

Data extraction: Adenoma detection rate (proportion of patients with ≥1 adenoma), number of adenomas detected per colonoscopy, advanced adenoma (≥10 mm with high-grade dysplasia and villous histology), number of serrated lesions per colonoscopy, and adenoma miss rate were extracted as benefit outcomes. Number of polypectomies for nonneoplastic lesions and withdrawal time were extracted as harm outcomes. For each outcome, studies were pooled using a random-effects model. Certainty of evidence was assessed using the GRADE (Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation) framework.

Data synthesis: Twenty-one randomized trials on 18 232 patients were included. The ADR was higher in the CADe group than in the standard colonoscopy group (44.0% vs. 35.9%; relative risk, 1.24 [95% CI, 1.16 to 1.33]; low-certainty evidence), corresponding to a 55% (risk ratio, 0.45 [CI, 0.35 to 0.58]) relative reduction in miss rate (moderate-certainty evidence). More nonneoplastic polyps were removed in the CADe than the standard group (0.52 vs. 0.34 per colonoscopy; mean difference [MD], 0.18 polypectomy [CI, 0.11 to 0.26 polypectomy]; low-certainty evidence). Mean inspection time increased only marginally with CADe (MD, 0.47 minute [CI, 0.23 to 0.72 minute]; moderate-certainty evidence).

Limitations: This review focused on surrogates of patient-important outcomes. Most patients, however, may consider cancer incidence and cancer-related mortality important outcomes. The effect of CADe on such patient-important outcomes remains unclear.

Conclusion: The use of CADe for polyp detection during colonoscopy results in increased detection of adenomas but not advanced adenomas and in higher rates of unnecessary removal of nonneoplastic polyps.

Primary funding source: European Commission Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review
  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Artificial Intelligence*
  • Colonoscopy
  • Colorectal Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Computers
  • Databases, Factual
  • Humans