Background: To control the increased risk of colorectal carcinoma in patients with long-standing ulcerative colitis, surveillance colonoscopy is widely recommended.
Methods: To assess the role of colonoscopic surveillance in affecting colorectal carcinoma-related mortality, an outcome analysis was performed.
Results: Among the total of 41 patients who developed carcinoma associated with ulcerative colitis, 19 patients were under colonoscopic surveillance and 22 patients were not. Carcinoma was detected at a significantly earlier Dukes' stage in the surveillance group (P = 0.039). Four patients in the surveillance group died, compared with 11 patients in the no-surveillance group. The 5-year survival rate was 77.2% for the surveillance group and 36.3% for the no-surveillance group (P = 0.026).
Conclusions: These results suggest that colonoscopic surveillance reduces colorectal carcinoma-related mortality by allowing the detection of carcinoma at an earlier Dukes' stage.