Colonoscopic surveillance reduces mortality from colorectal cancer in ulcerative colitis

Gastroenterology. 1993 Aug;105(2):418-24. doi: 10.1016/0016-5085(93)90715-o.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / complications*
  • Colonoscopy*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / etiology
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Survival Analysis