CT colonography with three-dimensional problem solving for detection of colonic polyps

AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1998 Oct;171(4):989-95. doi: 10.2214/ajr.171.4.9762982.


Objective: We performed CT colonography in patients referred for conventional colonoscopy, interpreted the axial images, and used commercially available software to reconstruct endoluminal perspective views to differentiate polyps from folds.

Subjects and methods: We prospectively examined 44 patients (27 men and 17 women; mean age, 58 years old) with CT colonography by interpreting the axial images and using three-dimensional rendering for problem solving only. The CT scans were interpreted by two radiologists who were unaware of patients' histories as revealed by colonoscopic findings. The findings on colonography were compared with those of conventional colonoscopy to determine sensitivity, specificity, time spent on interpretation, and confidence of interpretation.

Results: Colonoscopy showed normal findings in 28 patients and 22 polyps in the remaining 16 patients. Six polyps were 8 mm or larger, three were 5-7 mm, and 13 were 5 mm or smaller. The findings of the two observers revealed an overall sensitivity of 50% and 38%, respectively, and a specificity of 93% and 86%, respectively. Sensitivity for polyps larger than 8 mm was 83% and specificity was 100% for both observers. The average amount of time spent on interpretation was 28 min 30 sec (range, 14-65 min). Both observers used the endoluminal view for differentiating folds from polyps in 23 (52%) of 44 patients, which had only minimal impact on interpretation time.

Conclusion: CT colonography can be performed and the images interpreted using currently available hardware and software by initially using the axial images to search for polyps of significant size. Endoluminal views should be used only when necessary to help distinguish normal folds from fixed raised lesions that are suggestive of polyps.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Colonic Polyps / diagnosis
  • Colonic Polyps / diagnostic imaging*
  • Colonoscopy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Time Factors
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*