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Pelvic Diagnosis in Coloproctology

Colon cleaning during colonoscopy: a new mechanical cleaning device tested in a porcine model.
Fritscher-Ravens A, Mosse CA, Mills T, Ikeda K, Swain P
Gastrointest Endosc. 2006 Jan;63(1):141-3.

BACKGROUND: Poor colon cleaning frequently impairs colonoscopy. The aim of the study was to develop a method of cleaning the colon during colonoscopy. METHODS: A soft-tipped catheter with a water jet spray at its tip was designed to break up and propel stool contents in the direction of the anus. Stool contents were collected in a container attached to an endoscopy trolley. OBSERVATIONS: In bench tests, colon models filled with porridge were rapidly cleaned. Unprepared colons (n = 15) of anesthetized pigs were cleared in a few minutes by using this device at colonoscopy, by advancing the catheter under direct vision into concretions, which were rapidly broken down. There was minimal trauma to mucosa in these survival studies. CONCLUSIONS: A colon cleaning method for use at colonoscopy was highly effective in cleaning colon models and in unprepared pig colon. This device may have a role in cleaning the colon in unprepared or poorly prepared patients.

Three-dimensional computed tomographic images of pelvic muscle in anorectal malformations.
Watanabe Y, Ikegami R, Takasu K, Mori K
J Pediatr Surg. 2005 Dec;40(12):1931-4.

PURPOSE: The anatomy of the pelvic flower muscles based on investigation of gross section slides of a specimen does not always correspond with those described by Pena. Therefore, we restudied the anatomy with 3-dimensional (3D) images of the pelvic muscle produced with computed tomography. METHODS: Thirty-eight patients with anorectal malformations before anorectoplasty were investigated with a multi-detector row helical computed tomography (MRH-CT). Images of the pelvic part were obtained with a slice thickness of 1 mm and a reconstruction pitch of 0.5 mm. A 3D reconstruction was made with the volume rendering method. Lateral views of the 3D CT reconstructed images of the pelvic muscle were compared with the same views of the type corresponding to Pena's schematic drawings in the literature. RESULTS: Study of the 3D reconstructions demonstrated that the pelvic muscles of each type were less uniform than the ones described by Pena. There was a great difference even in the same type of anatomy. The differences between the 3D image and the description by Pena were most notable in the high type and particularly in the description of the vertical fibers and the parasagittal muscles. CONCLUSIONS: A 3D image with MRH-CT can provide useful preoperative information about the anatomy of the pelvic flower muscles in each case.

Bowel wall enhancement in magnetic resonance colonography for assessing activity in Crohn's disease.
Rottgen R, Herzog H, Lopez-Haninnen E, Felix R
Clin Imaging. 2006 Jan-Feb;30(1):27-31.

BACKGROUND: This study focuses on the correlation of the signal intensity (SI) of the bowel wall in magnetic resonance (MR) colonography with the inflammation activity in Crohn's disease. MATERIAL AND METHODS: We performed MR colonography in 42 patients and compared the change of the SI of the bowel wall (T1-weighted/paramagnetic contrast medium) with colonoscopic findings. RESULTS: Change of the SI and colonoscopically assessed inflammatory activity are significantly correlated (r=.676, P</=.01). CONCLUSION: The degree of the contrast enhancement of the bowel wall may be a criterion for the degree of inflammation in Crohn's disease.

Endosonographic imaging of anorectal diseases.
Engin G
J Ultrasound Med. 2006 Jan;25(1):57-73.

OBJECTIVE: The normal sonographic anatomy of the anorectum, sonographic findings of anorectal diseases, and indications and limitations of endosonography compared with magnetic resonance imaging are reviewed. Methods. Endosonographic imaging was performed with a Siemens (Erlangen, Germany) FI 400 ultrasound scanner with an end-fire 7.5-MHz biplane endorectal probe and a B-K Medical (Sandhoften, Denmark) scanner with an 1850 axial-type side-fire 5.0- to 10.0-MHz rotating endoscopic probe. RESULTS: Rectal carcinoma appears on endorectal sonography as a low-echogenicity lesion that abruptly interrupts the normal sequence of layers. The internal anal sphincter is seen very clearly on endoanal sonography, and it is easy to appreciate atrophy and small tears of this sphincter. Endoanal sonography cannot accurately show thinning of the external anal sphincter. Peroxide-enhanced endoanal sonography is especially useful for patients with recurrent perianal fistulas in whom scarring should be distinguished from recurrent fistulas and detection of the internal opening. However, sonography does not provide an adequate deep and global display of all adjacent pelvic and perineal spaces. CONCLUSIONS: Endosonography can accurately stage primary rectal tumors and assess the internal anal sphincter. Peroxide-enhanced 3-dimensional imaging can increase the utility of endoanal sonography in detection and characterization of perianal fistulas and planning of optimal therapy. However, magnetic resonance imaging can be used a complementary modality to endosonography, especially for evaluation of external anal sphincter atrophy and deep pelvic inflammation.

Mapping the Rectum: Spatial Analysis of Transanal Endoscopic Microsurgical Outcomes Using GIS Technology.
Ganai S, Garb JL, Kanumuri P, Rao RS, Alexander AI, Wait RB
J Gastrointest Surg. 2006 Jan;10(1):22-31.

Transanal endoscopic microsurgery (TEM) is a technically challenging procedure hindered by rectal anatomic constraints. To study the relationship of lesion position with performance of TEM, a novel approach of spatial analysis using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) was developed. A retrospective review was conducted on 144 consecutive TEMs, analyzing clinical, pathologic, and positional characteristics. Two- and three-dimensional maps of rectal topology were developed. GIS was used for spatial analysis, accounting for regional position and clustering of lesions. Lesions were located at a mean distance of 9.3 +/- 4.9 (SD) cm from the dentate line, with an average size of 3.1 +/- 1.4 cm. Proximal regions were associated with prolonged operative time. Regions between the rectosigmoid junction and the peritoneal reflection were associated with peritoneal breach. In spatial regression analysis, regional characteristics that were significantly associated with operative time included distance, presence of cancers, and positive margins; peritoneal breach was significantly associated with lesion size and location; conversions were associated with distance (P < 0.05). Specific knowledge of lesion size and location in the context of anatomic relationships is important for optimizing operative intervention. GIS provides a valuable tool in organizing spatial information and can be extended into clinical research topics involving the distinction of anatomic relationships.

CT colonography for colon cancer screening.
Banerjee S, Van Dam J
Gastrointest Endosc. 2006 Jan;63(1):121-33.

Colonoscopy in the sitting position: lessons learned from self-colonoscopy by using a small-caliber, variable-stiffness colonoscope.
Horiuchi A, Nakayama Y
Gastrointest Endosc. 2006 Jan;63(1):119-20.

Investigating painless rectal bleeding--is there scope for improvement?

Clarke G, Robb A, Sugarman I, McCallion WA
J Pediatr Surg. 2005 Dec;40(12):1920-2.

INTRODUCTION: Most patients with recurrent painless rectal bleeding warrant endoscopic examination of the lower gastrointestinal tract. This is often limited to rectum or distal colon. The purpose of this study was to compare the diagnostic yield of limited colorectal endoscopy with total colonoscopy in children with recurrent painless rectal bleeding. METHODS: Retrospective review of 314 patients aged 1 to 15 years who underwent colorectal endoscopy for recurrent rectal bleeding. Two hundred six underwent total colonoscopy, whereas 108 patients had endoscopy limited to the rectum in 22, sigmoid colon in 34, descending colon in 43, and transverse colon in 9. Diagnoses were recorded according to the endoscopic and histological findings. RESULTS: After total colonoscopy, a diagnosis was established in 70% of children compared with 35% of those undergoing limited endoscopy (P < .001). This difference was most noticeable in children with inflammatory bowel disease. Juvenile polyps were diagnosed with similar frequency in both groups, reflecting the rectosigmoid distribution of most polyps. CONCLUSIONS: For children presenting with painless rectal bleeding, a diagnosis can be established in the majority if total colonoscopy is performed. This is particularly true for inflammatory bowel disease. Unless a rectal polyp is suspected, full colonoscopy should be planned.

Clinical Utility of Wireless Capsule Endoscopy: Experience With 200 Cases.
Tatar EL, Shen EH, Palance AL, Sun JH, Pitchumoni CS
J Clin Gastroenterol. 2006 Feb;40(2):140-144.

GOALS: To evaluate the indications and diagnoses made with 200 small bowel capsule endoscopies in an academic medical center. BACKGROUND: Wireless capsule endoscopy (PillCam SB) has recently become available as a new tool in the evaluation of patients with small bowel diseases. Its impact on patient care and usefulness in clinical practice has steadily been gaining ground, yet there are few studies that evaluate large numbers of patients. METHODS: A retrospective review of wireless capsule endoscopies was performed between September 2003 and January 2005. Reviewed are the indications for the studies, number of complete and incomplete examinations, evaluation of gastric and small bowel transit times, findings made on examination, and the percent of diagnoses made and diagnoses suspected for each study indication. RESULTS: A total of 200 cases were reviewed. Indications included anemia (66% of cases), gastrointestinal hemorrhage (31% cases), abdominal pain (21% cases), diarrhea (11% cases), and other indications such as evaluation of abnormal radiographic findings or surveillance of inflammatory bowel disease (9% cases). The average patient age was 61.5 years (SD +/- 19.1 years). Males comprised 49% of patients. The wireless capsule endoscopy study completely evaluated the entire small bowel in 87% of cases. The most common cause for an incomplete examination was premature battery failure in 8% of cases. Only 9.5% of studies were normal without findings. Small bowel ulcerations were present in 38% of studies. Vascular ectasias were present in 23% of studies. Overall, a diagnosis was made in 23% of all studies, whereas a diagnosis was suspected based on the findings in an additional 31% of studies. The indication with the highest percentage of diagnoses made or suspected was gastrointestinal hemorrhage, with a diagnostic yield of 65%, followed by anemia 61%, diarrhea 36%, and pain 17%. CONCLUSIONS: Wireless capsule endoscopy is a valuable diagnostic tool in the evaluation of occult small bowel lesions, and was most effective in patients with gastrointestinal hemorrhage and anemia.

Update of tests of colon and rectal structure and function.
Bharucha AE
J Clin Gastroenterol. 2006 Feb;40(2):96-103.

This review deals with the indications, methods, strengths, and limitations of anorectal testing in clinical practice. In chronic constipation, anal manometry and a rectal balloon expulsion test, occasionally supplemented by defecography, are useful to identify a functional defecatory disorder, because symptoms may respond to pelvic floor retraining. In patients with fecal incontinence, diagnostic testing complements the clinical assessment for evaluating the pathophysiology and guiding management. Manometry measures anal resting and squeeze pressures, which predominantly reflect internal and external anal sphincter function, respectively. Defecation may be indirectly assessed by measuring the recto-anal pressure gradient during straining and by the rectal balloon expulsion test. Endoanal ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can identify anal sphincter structural pathology, which may be clinically occult, and/or amenable to surgical repair. Only MRI can identify external sphincter atrophy, whereas ultrasound is more sensitive for internal sphincter imaging. By characterizing rectal evacuation and puborectalis contraction, barium defecography may demonstrate an evacuation disorder, excessive perineal descent or a rectocele. Dynamic MRI can provide similar information and also image the bladder and genital organs without radiation exposure. Because the measurement of pudendal nerve latencies suffers from several limitations, anal sphincter electromyography is recommended when neurogenic sphincter weakness is suspected.

Defecation Disorders: A French Population Survey.
Siproudhis L, Pigot F, Godeberge P, Damon H, Soudan D, Bigard MA
Dis Colon Rectum. 2005 Dec 20;.

PURPOSE: Despite frequent occurrence, functional defecation disorders and related conditions have been infrequently reported in population studies. This study was designed to assess symptoms, lifestyle-behavioral changes, and medical care seeking related to functional defecation disorders in alarge household community survey. METHODS: A large household community survey was conducted in 10,000 individuals aged 15 years or older. A mailed questionnaire was used to assess ten common anorectal complaints; frequency, association, impact on quality of life, and medical care seeking were quantified. RESULTS: Evaluation was obtained in 7,196 patients (3,455 males). During the previous 12-month period, 2,097 patients (29.1 percent) experienced functional defecation disorders: outlet constipation and fecal incontinence were reported in 22.4 and 16.8 percent respectively. Compared with patients with no anorectal complaint, patients with functional defecation disorders had a different gender status (females, 63.3 vs. 47.6 percent; P < 0.01). Based on symptom severity, functional defecation disorders were perceived as the main anorectal complaint in 1,192 patients. In this group, emptying difficulties, unsatisfied defecation, gas, and fecal incontinence occurred at least once per month in 71.6, 56.1, 77.9, and 49 percent respectively: 66.6 percent with outlet constipation and 85.6 percent with incontinence revealed impairment in quality of life. Incontinent patients more frequently avoided medical care than those complaining of outlet constipation (67.4 vs. 46.4 percent; P < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: Functional defecation disorders concerns at least one of four French individuals. Outlet constipation and fecal incontinence frequently occur in association. Despite a low rate of patients seeking care, symptoms often are severe and related to quality of life impairment.

High-Dose Senna Compared with Conventional PEG-ES Lavage as Bowel Preparation for Elective Colonoscopy: A Prospective, Randomized, Investigator-Blinded Trial.
Radaelli F, Meucci G, Imperiali G, Spinzi G, Strocchi E, Terruzzi V, Minoli G
Am J Gastroenterol. 2005 Dec;100(12):2674-80.

OBJECTIVE: To compare the efficacy and patient acceptance of an oral high dose of senna to conventional polyethylene glycol-electrolyte lavage solution (PEG-ES) in adults undergoing elective colonoscopy. METHODS: Consecutive outpatients referred for elective colonoscopy were prospectively randomly assigned to receive, the day before the procedure, either 24 tablets of 12 mg senna, divided into two doses at 1 p.m. and 9 p.m. (senna group, n = 191), or standard 4-L PEG-ES (PEG-ES group, n =192). The overall quality of colon cleansing (primary outcome measure) and cleansing in the right colon were evaluated using the Aronchick scoring scale (1 = excellent to 4 = inadequate) by the investigator/endoscopist who was blinded to the treatment assignment. Patient acceptance and the safety of the preparation were assessed by a nurse, using a structured questionnaire covering compliance with the dosing, overall tolerance of the preparation (1 = none or mild discomfort to 4 = severely distressing), and adverse events. RESULTS: The quality of colon cleansing, overall tolerance of the preparation, and compliance were significantly better with senna; overall cleansing was excellent or good in 90.6% of patients in the senna group and in 79.7% in the PEG-ES group (p= 0.003). The percentage of procedures rescheduled because of insufficient colon cleansing was 7.3% in the PEG-ES group and 2.6% in the senna group (p= 0.035). Multivariate logistic regression modeling showed the PEG-ES preparation as negative independent predictor of unsuccessful bowel cleansing. The incidence of adverse reactions was similar in the two groups; patients who received senna experienced significantly less nausea and vomiting, but more abdominal pain. CONCLUSIONS: An oral high dose of senna is a valid alternative to standard PEG-ES for outpatient colonoscopy preparation.

Colonoscopy in the very elderly is safe and worthwhile.
Syn WK, Tandon U, Ahmed MM
Age Ageing. 2005 Sep;34(5):510-3.

Virtual reality colonoscopy simulation: a compulsory practice for the future colonoscopist?
Ahlberg G, Hultcrantz R, Jaramillo E, Lindblom A, Arvidsson D
Endoscopy 2005 Dec;37(12):1198-204.

BACKGROUND AND STUDY AIM: As for any manual procedure, the learning curves for medical interventions can have undesirable phases, occurring mostly in the early experience of applying a technique. There have been impressive advances in endoscopic procedures during recent years, and there is an emerging trend that the number of procedures is increasing in parallel with these. In addition, the introduction of screening programs for colorectal cancer will also increase the numbers of procedures needed. Recent developments in medical simulation seem promising with regard to the possibility of "training out" undesirable parts of the learning curve outside the operating room. The aim of this study was to investigate whether the use of the AccuTouch flexible endoscopy simulator improves the early part of the learning curve in colonoscopy training. METHOD: 12 endoscopy trainees, 10 surgeons and two medical gastroenterologists, all with experience in gastroscopy but with no specific colonoscopy experience, were randomly assigned to either simulator training or to a control group. They all received the same theoretical study package and the training group practiced with the AccuTouch colonoscopy simulator until a predefined expert level of performance was reached. All trainees performed their first ten individual colonoscopies described in detail in a separate protocol. RESULTS: Trainees in the simulator-trained group performed significantly better ( P = 0.0011) and managed to reach the cecum in 52 % of their cases (vs. 19 % in the control group), and were 4.53 times more likely to succeed compared with the controls. Additionally, there was a significantly shorter procedure time and less patient discomfort in the hands of the simulator-trained group. CONCLUSION: Skills acquired using the AccuTouch simulator transfer well into the clinical colonoscopy environment. The results of this trial clearly support the plan to integrate simulator training into endoscopic education curricula.

Atrophy and Defects Detection of the External Anal Sphincter: Comparison Between Three-Dimensional Anal Endosonography and Endoanal Magnetic Resonance Imaging.
Cazemier M, Terra MP, Stoker J, de Lange-de Klerk ES, Boeckxstaens GE, Mulder CJ, Felt-Bersma RJ
Dis Colon Rectum 2005 Nov 23;.

PURPOSE: Using endoanal magnetic resonance imaging, atrophy of the external anal sphincter can be established. This aspect has not been thoroughly investigated using three-dimensional anal endosonography. The purpose of this study was to compare prospectively three-dimensional anal endosonography to magnetic resonance imaging in the detection of atrophy and defects of the external anal sphincter in patients with fecal incontinence. In addition, we compared both techniques for anal sphincter thickness and length measurements. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Patients with fecal incontinence underwent three-dimensional anal endosonography and magnetic resonance imaging. Images of both endoluminal techniques were evaluated for atrophy and defects of the external anal sphincter. External anal sphincter atrophy scoring with three-dimensional anal endosonography depended on the distinction of the external anal sphincter and its reflectivity. External anal sphincter atrophy scoring with magnetic resonance imaging depended on the amount of muscle and the presence of fat replacement. Atrophy score was defined as none, moderate, and severe. A defect was defined at anal endosonography by a hypoechogenic zone and at magnetic resonance imaging as a discontinuity of the sphincteric ring and/or scar tissue. Differences between three-dimensional anal endosonography and magnetic resonance imaging for the detection of external anal sphincter atrophy and defects were calculated. In addition, we compared external anal sphincter thickness and length measurements in three-dimensional anal endosonography and magnetic resonance imaging. RESULTS: Eighteen patients were included (median age, 58 years; range, 27-80; 15 women). Three-dimensional anal endosonography and magnetic resonance imaging did not significantly differ for the detection of external anal sphincter atrophy (P = 0.25) and defects (P = 0.38). Three-dimensional anal endosonography demonstrated atrophy in 16 patients, magnetic resonance imaging detected atrophy in 13 patients. Three-dimensional anal endosonography agreed with magnetic resonance imaging in 15 of 18 patients for the detection of external anal sphincter atrophy. Using the grading system, 8 of the 18 patients scored the same grade. Three-dimensional anal endosonography detected seven external anal sphincter defects and magnetic resonance imaging detected ten. Three-dimensional anal endosonography and magnetic resonance imaging agreed on the detection of external anal sphincter defects in 13 of 18 patients. Comparison between three-dimensional anal endosonography and magnetic resonance imaging for sphincter thickness and length measurements showed no statistically significant concordance and had no correlation with external anal sphincter atrophy. CONCLUSION: This is the first study that shows that three-dimensional anal endosonography can be used for detecting external anal sphincter atrophy. Both endoanal techniques are comparable in detecting atrophy and defects of the external anal sphincter, although there is a substantial difference in grading of external anal sphincter atrophy. Correlation between three-dimensional anal endosonography and magnetic resonance imaging for thickness and length measurements is poor. Inconsistency between the two methods needs to be evaluated further.

Rectal Perforations After Barium Enema: A Review.
de Feiter PW, Soeters PB, Dejong CH
Dis Colon Rectum 2005 Nov 23;.

PURPOSE: Rectal injuries during barium enema are rare but life-threatening complications. The last review about this subject was published more than ten years ago. In the present review, we present an overview on the subject andespecially focus on changes in treatment strategies anddevelopments of less risky visualization techniques. METHODS: A literature search was performed in the PubMed library using the key words-barium enema, complications, peritonitis, and rectal perforation-as well as related articles and other references obtained from these articles. RESULTS: The most frequent cause of perforation is iatrogenic and catheter-related. Other causes are related to weakness of the colorectal wall or obstruction. Five types of perforations have been described: 1) perforations of the anal canal below the levator; 2) incomplete perforations; 3) perforations into the retroperitoneum; 4) transmural perforations into adjacent viscera; 5) perforations into the free intraperitoneal cavity. Most incomplete perforations and one-half of the retroperitoneal perforations have minimal clinical signs. Intraperitoneal perforations lead to the most catastrophic course, starting with rectal bleeding and mild abdominal complaints. This is rapidly followed by progressive sepsis and peritonitis, and leads to a high mortality rate. Surgery is not always required for intramural or small retroperitoneal perforations. These can be treated conservatively and require surgical debridement only in case of large amounts of extravasation or abscesses. Surgical repair of large rectal mucosal lesions or anal sphincter lesions is advised. Perirectal abscesses require drainage. Intraperitoneal perforations with gross extravasation need immediate aggressive surgical treatment in a critical care setting, because the threat of shock is high. Intraperitoneal perforations, neglected perforations, gross barium extravasation, poorly prepared colon, and venous intravasation of barium are prognostically unfavorable. The severest late complication in intraperitoneal perforations is ileus. Meticulous technical performance of the barium enema is the most important factor in prevention. CONCLUSIONS: Rectal perforations after barium enema are rare. The overall mortality rate decreased in recent decades from approximately 50 to 35 percent as the result of advances in supportive and intensive care. Because of these advances, more aggressive surgical strategies were undertaken. With the advent of endoscopy, less barium enemas are performed. Consequently, the absolute incidence of complications has decreased. It is expected that in the future barium enemas will be replaced by more sensitive and less risky techniques, such as CT colonography and magnetic resonance colonography.

Sonographic Investigation of the Rectoanal Inhibitory Reflex: A Qualitative Pilot Study in Healthy Females.
Orno AK, Marsal K
Dis Colon Rectum 2005 Dec 8;.

PURPOSE: The rectoanal inhibitory reflex has been studied using various methods, e.g., anometry and electromyography. The aim of this study was to apply ultrasound for direct visualization of the rectoanal inhibitory reflex. METHOD: The rectoanal inhibitory reflex was induced in ten healthy females (age range, 21-55 years) by injection of small amounts of water (7, 12, and 20 ml), into the rectum. The intra-anal pressure was measured with a microtransducer and the rectoanal inhibitory reflex was visualized with real-time transvaginal or transperineal sonography. RESULTS: The rectoanal inhibitory reflex consisted of a reduction in the intra-anal pressure and relaxation of the internal anal sphincter, manifested as an increase in the inner diameter of the internal anal sphincter from the mean of 11 to 16 mm (P < 0.001). Simultaneously, a wave of rectal contents entered the anal canal. The distance from the most distal border of the rectal contents to the anal verge decreased from a mean of 33 to 20 mm (P < 0.001). The rectoanal inhibitory reflex ended with a retrograde transport returning anal contents into the rectum. During the retrograde transport a contraction in the internal anal sphincter was observed. CONCLUSIONS: The rectoanal inhibitory reflex can readily be visualized with ultrasound as a wave of rectal contents entering the anal canal. The transport into the anal canal was not of voluntary origin and could be either noticed or not noticed by the subjects. The observed retrograde transportation in the anal canal was not noted by the subjects; it is related to a contraction in the internal anal sphincter and visualized for the first time using ultrasound.

Screening of patients after colectomy: virtual colonography.
Leonardou P, Striggaris K, Pappas P, Filippou D, Bramis I, Tsavaris N, Gouliamos A, Vlachos L
Abdom Imaging 2005 Dec 5;.

BACKGROUND: Virtual colonography is a powerful new method of imaging the entire colon and is useful to assess polyps and diagnose colon cancer. We evaluated virtual colonography in the postoperative screening of patients who had colon cancer. METHODS: Fifty-three patients were examined with virtual colonography 12 to 48 months postoperatively. Forty-four patients had received segmental colectomy with restoration of the gastrointestinal tract, and nine patients underwent abdominoperineal resection and permanent colostomy. After proper cleaning of the colon and distention with air, spiral computed tomographic examination of the abdomen with a slice thickness of 5 mm (table speed [TS] 10 mm, reconstruction interval [RI] 2.5 mm) was performed in the supine and prone positions (including intravenous contrast medium infusion). Images were transferred to a separate workstation (Philips Easy Vision) for postprocessing, three-dimensional rendering, and endoluminal viewing. RESULTS: Eleven recurrences (16.41%) were identified in 10 patients by virtual colonography, but one recurrence was missed. Conventional colonoscopy was incomplete in six cases, and two patients with colostomy refused colonoscopy. In these eight cases (15%), virtual colonoscopy was completed without problems. A second tumor in one patient who had received abdominoperineal resection was demonstrated by virtual colonography, but conventional colonoscopy failed to demonstrate the lesion. Liver metastases were identified in only one patient. CONCLUSIONS: Virtual colonography seems to provide a good alternative in the follow-up of patients after colectomy. The technique is effective in the diagnosis of locoregional recurrences and distant metastases and is well accepted by patients, and results are equal to those of the conventional colonoscopy.

CT colonography: screening in individuals at high risk for colorectal cancer.
Gallo TM, Galatola G, Laudi C, Regge D
Abdom Imaging 2005 Dec 5;.

The use of computed tomographic colonography (CTC) as a screening test for colorectal cancer is being advocated with growing enthusiasm by physicians and the public as stronger evidence of its validity and limited invasiveness emerges from the literature. Because the approach to surveillance of colorectal cancer depends on an individual's degree of risk category, which depends on familial and personal histories, it seems logical that the diagnostic performance and cost efficacy of screening CTC may differ according to the characteristics of the target population. Although CTC seems a valid option in low- to average-risk populations, pending a careful assessment of its cost and estimates of its cost efficacy, there are some important issues that should be addressed when it comes to considering its use in high-risk patients. The expected larger number of induced colonoscopies and higher false-positive rates are likely to have a great influence on CTC costs, but if its implementation causes a dramatic increase in the number of patients willing to undergo screening, thanks to its acceptability, then the cost efficacy ratio may ultimately become competitive with all other screening strategies for colorectal cancer. We strongly feel that large and well-conducted trials are needed to clarify the role of CTC in screening patients at increased risk of developing colorectal cancer.

Anorectal manometry: are fatigue rate and fatigue rate index of any clinical importance?
Bilali S, Pfeifer J
Tech Coloproctol 2005 Nov 21;.

BACKGROUND: Loss of voluntary contraction of the external anal sphincter is thought to be a factor in fecal incontinence. During anal manometry, computerized systems produce several parameters including fatigue rate (FR), which is the basis for calculating the fatigue rate index (FRI). Our aim was to evaluate FR and FRI and their clinical importance in patients suffering from fecal incontinence or severe constipation.MATERIALS AND METHODS: All patients scheduled for an anal physiology work-up were included in the study. FR was determined by a computer program and FRI was calculated manually with the following equation: FRI (minutes) = [squeeze pressure (mm Hg) - resting pressure (mmHg)] / - FR (mmHg/min). FR and FRI were compared in patients suffering from fecal incontinence (group I) and severe constipation (group II). Furthermore, subgroups (<50 and >/=50 years of age) were compared. Lastly, a possible relation between length of the high-pressure zone (HPZ) and FR and FRI was assessed.RESULTS: Between January 2000 and December 2004, 131 patients (96 with fecal incontinence, 35 with constipation) were studied. Both FR and FRI were similar between groups I and II; no significant differences were found when younger and older patients were compared within the same group. We also did not find any relation between HPZ length and either FR or FRI.CONCLUSIONS: FR and FRI do not seem to be helpful in routine colorectal practice for evaluating the strength of the external anal sphincter.

Multidetector Row CT of the Small Bowel.
Patak MA, Mortele KJ, Ros PR
Radiol Clin North Am 2005 Nov;43(6):1063-77.

Multidetector row CT (MDCT) has become an imaging technique of choice to study routinely the small bowel. Thin collimation and fast scanning allow coverage of the entire abdomen within a single suspended respiration phase allowing the use of multiple enhancement phases after intravenous contrast administration. MDCT of the small bowel can identify and stage most of the common diseases of the small bowel. MDCT is changing the paradigm for diagnosing small bowel disease by becoming the first diagnostic line for almost all small bowel diseases. MDCT has the needed sensitivity and specificity, the availability, and the safety for a front-line diagnostic method.

Multislice CT Colonography: Current Status and Limitations.
Barish MA, Rocha TC
Radiol Clin North Am 2005 Nov;43(6):1049-62.

CT colonography (CTC) is a promising method for colorectal cancer screening because it provides a full structural evaluation of the entire colon. It has a superior safety profile, a low rate of complications, and high patient acceptance. In addition, CTC offers the real possibility of eliminating the cathartic bowel preparation, one of the biggest obstacles to patient compliance with colorectal cancer screening. Results of CTC studies in recently published literature are extremely encouraging, demonstrating that this method of screening can detect lesions equal to or larger than 8 mm with few false-positive findings.

CT Colonography: Where Have We Been and Where Are We Going?
Macari M, Bini EJ
Radiology 2005 Oct 19;.

Over the past decade, computed tomographic (CT) colonography (also known as virtual colonoscopy) has been used to investigate the colon for colorectal neoplasia. Numerous clinical and technical advances have allowed CT colonography to advance slowly from a research tool to a viable option for colorectal cancer screening. However, substantial controversy remains among radiologists, gastroenterologists, and other clinicians with regard to the current role of CT colonography in clinical practice. On the one hand, all agree there is much excitement about a noninvasive imaging examination that can reliably depict clinically important colorectal lesions. However, this is tempered by results from several recent studies that show the sensitivity of CT colonography may not be as great when performed and the images interpreted by radiologists without expertise and training. The potential to miss important lesions exists; moreover, if polyps cannot be differentiated from folds and residual fecal matter, unnecessary colonoscopy will be performed. In this review, current issues will be discussed regarding colon cancer and the established and reimbursed strategies to screen for it and the past, current, and potential future role of CT colonography.

Single-Fiber Electromyography Correlates More Closely With Incontinence Scores Than Pudendal Nerve Terminal Motor Latency.
Fowler AL, Mills A, Durdey P, Thomas MG
Dis Colon Rectum 2005 Oct 7;.

BACKGROUND: The investigation of fecal incontinence is important in deciding the most appropriate treatment. The presence of neuropathy has been shown to affect surgical outcomes adversely. Latency studies are of dubious value in assessing neuropathy; needle electromyography is the gold standard test. The relationship between these two tests and the symptoms of fecal incontinence has not been studied. METHOD: A cohort of 57 patients underwent neurologic and symptom assessment using latency studies, concentric and single-fiber electromyography, and symptom assessment using the Cleveland Clinic Scoring System. RESULTS: There was a significant correlation between left mean fiber density and Cleveland Clinic Scoring (correlation: 0.32, P = 0.02) but not between right or left latency studies. CONCLUSION: Single-fiber electromyography gave relevant results that could be obtained easily on modern equipment. Latency values were not reliable.

CT colonography: contrast enhancement of benign and malignant colorectal lesions versus fecal residuals.
Neri E, Vagli P, Picchietti S, Vannozzi F, Linsalata S, Bardine A, Bartolozzi C
Abdom Imaging 2005 Oct 26;.

We retrospectively reviewed the computed tomographic colonographic datasets of 22 patients. Mean attenuation values of benign polyps before and after contrast administration were 30 +/- 15 HU and 90 +/- 18 HU, respectively. Mean attenuation values of colorectal cancer before and after contrast administration were 43 +/- 15 HU and 124 +/- 18 HU, respectively. The mean attenuation value of solid fecal residuals was 43 +/- 15 HU. The difference in attenuation value between precontrast and postcontrast studies of polyps was statistically significant (mean 60 HU, p < 0.01); the same was true for colorectal cancer (mean 81 HU, p < 0.01). The difference between postcontrast density of polyps and cancer with respect to density of solid fecal residuals was statistically significant (p < 0.01). The use of contrast medium could be of help in computed tomographic colonography for discriminating polypoid benign lesions and colorectal cancer from fecal residuals.

Localizing colorectal cancer by colonoscopy.
Piscatelli N, Hyman N, Osler T
Arch Surg 2005 Oct;140(10):932-5.

HYPOTHESIS: Colonoscopic localization of colorectal carcinoma is frequently inaccurate and unreliable. DESIGN: Consecutive case series. SETTING: Tertiary care teaching hospital. PATIENTS: Three hundred fourteen consecutive patients undergoing surgical resection for colorectal cancer from January 1, 2000, to December 31, 2003. INTERVENTION: Surgical resection for colorectal cancer. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Incidence of erroneous site localization. RESULTS: Two hundred thirty-six patients had complete endoscopic, pathologic, and operative records. Colonoscopy was inaccurate for tumor localization in 49 cases (21%). In 27 (11%) of these cases, a different procedure was required than initially planned; in an additional 10 cases (4%), the surgical approach required modification. Inaccurate localization was associated with previous colorectal procedures on both univariate analysis (odds ratio, 3.94; 95% confidence interval, 1.50-10.32; P<.005) and multivariate analysis (odds ratio, 4.47; 95% confidence interval, 1.64-12.08; P = .003). Having the colonoscopy performed by a surgeon trended toward protection from error on multivariate analysis (odds ratio, 0.47; 95% confidence interval, 0.20-1.08; P = .07). Age, sex, diverticular disease, endoscopist volume and years of training, and bowel preparation had no significant effect. CONCLUSIONS: Colonoscopy has a considerable error rate for localization of colorectal cancer, especially when previous colorectal procedures have been performed. Adjunctive localizing techniques, such as endoscopic tattooing, should be strongly considered.

The Role of CT Colonography in Colorectal Cancer Screening.
Nicholson FB, Barro JL, Bartram CI, Dehmeshki J, Halligan S, Taylor S, Kamm MA
Am J Gastroenterol 2005 Oct;100(10):2315-23.

Computed tomographic colonography (CTC) is a relatively noninvasive technique for large bowel imaging that has the ability to detect colorectal neoplasia. Already well established as a reliable diagnostic tool in symptomatic patients who are unable to undergo complete colonoscopy, it is now being considered as a viable method for population screening. Advances in technique over the past 10 yr make this an attractive alternative, including reduced bowel preparation and stool tagging, three-dimensional (3D) image reconstruction, computer-aided detection software, and low-radiation dose protocols. CTC may be favored by patients compared to other available screening tests due to the ease of performance and comfort. Although published studies vary in relation to the sensitivity of this test for the detection of polyps, in the best hands a sensitivity of greater than 90% for detection of polyps at least 10 mm in diameter may be obtained. Although not yet endorsed for widespread use by major gastroenterological societies, CTC shows promise as a screening tool. (Am J Gastroenterol 2005;100:1-9).

Abdominal Bloating.
Azpiroz F, Malagelada JR
Gastroenterology 2005 Sep;129(3):1060-1078.

Abdominal bloating is a common and significant clinical problem that remains to be scientifically addressed. Bloating is one of the most bothersome complaints in patients with various functional gut disorders. However, in the current standard classification, abdominal bloating is merely regarded as a secondary descriptor, which masks its real clinical effect. Four factors are involved in the pathophysiology of bloating: a subjective sensation of abdominal bloating, objective abdominal distention, volume of intra-abdominal contents, and muscular activity of the abdominal wall. The primer to elicit subjective bloating may be any of the other 3 factors, or the sensation may be related to distorted perception. All of these mechanisms may play an independent role or may be interrelated. Gas transit studies have evidenced that patients with bloating have impaired reflex control of gut handling of contents. Segmental pooling, either of gas or of solid/liquid components, may induce a bloating sensation, particularly in patients with altered gut perception. Furthermore, altered viscerosomatic reflexes may contribute to abdominal wall protrusion and objective distention, even without major intra-abdominal volume increment. Bloating probably is a heterogeneous condition produced by a combination of pathophysiological mechanisms that differ among individual patients and that in most cases are subtle and undetectable by conventional methods. Further advances in the pathophysiology and clinical forms of bloating are warranted to develop mechanistic strategies rather than the current empiric treatment strategies for comprehensive and effective management of this problem.

Correlation between urethral sphincter activity and valsalva leak point pressure at different bladder distentions: revisiting the urethral pressure profile.
Almeida FG, Bruschini H, Srougi M
J Urol 2005 Oct;174(4 Pt 1):1312-6.

PURPOSE: We determined the correlation between Valsalva leak point pressure (LPP) and the urethral pressure profile (UPP) in urodynamically selected patients with stress urinary incontinence (SUI) as well as the interference of bladder volume on this correlation. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 450 consecutive women with SUI were clinically evaluated and underwent urodynamic study. Inclusion criteria were urodynamically demonstrable SUI with normal bladder compliance, sensitivity and capacity. Severe pelvic prolapse, detrusor overactivity and a pattern suggestive of obstruction were excluded. Urodynamic study was performed using a 7Fr 4 channel membrane catheter. LPP was determined at mid bladder capacity and UPP was determined at 50 ml, between 200 and 250 ml, and at bladder capacity. RESULTS: A total of 200 women fulfilled the selection criteria, of whom 30, 114 and 56 had a LPP of 60 or less, between 60 and 120, and greater than 120 cm H2O, respectively. Except for age and the number of pads the 3 groups were well matched in clinical and bladder urodynamic parameters. A progressive correlation of LPP with maximum urethral closure pressure was found when UPP was performed at 50 ml (r = 0.305, p <0.0001), at 250 ml (r = 0.483, p <0.0001) and at maximum bladder filling (r = 0.561, p <0.0001). Urethral functional length did not show a correlation with LPP at a bladder distention of 50 ml (r = 0.117, p = 0.100) or 200 ml (r = 0.167, p = 0.019) but there was a minor correlation at bladder capacity (r = 0.234, p = 0.002). CONCLUSIONS: There is a significant correlation between maximum urethral closure pressure and LPP. Patients with a LPP of 60 cm H2O or less have a shorter urethral functional length and lower sphincter activity. Patients with SUI have a more remarkable correlation between UPP and Valsalva LPP when UPP is determined after filling the bladder to more than 200 ml.

A comparison of the immunochemical fecal occult blood test and total colonoscopy in the asymptomatic population.
Morikawa T, Kato J, Yamaji Y, Wada R, Mitsushima T, Shiratori Y
Gastroenterology 2005 Aug;129(2):422-8.

BACKGROUND & AIMS: The fecal occult blood test (FOBT) is recommended as a screening test for colorectal cancer, but there are few reliable studies on the accuracy of immunochemical FOBT. The aim of this study was to analyze the sensitivity of immunochemical FOBT and to compare the results with the findings from complete colonoscopy. METHODS: Asymptomatic adults underwent 1-time immunochemical FOBT and total colonoscopy simultaneously. The prevalence and location of colorectal neoplasia were determined by colonoscopy. The results of immunochemical FOBT and the colonoscopic findings were compared. RESULTS: Of 21,805 patients, immunochemical FOBT was positive in 1231 cases (5.6%). The sensitivity of 1-time immunochemical FOBT for detecting advanced neoplasia and invasive cancer was 27.1% and 65.8%, respectively. In addition, the sensitivity for invasive cancer according to Dukes' stage showed 50.0% for Dukes' stage A, 70.0% for Dukes' stage B, and 78.3% for Dukes' stages C or D. The sensitivity for detecting advanced neoplasia at the proximal colon was significantly lower than that detected in the distal colon (16.3% vs 30.7%, P = .00007). CONCLUSIONS: Although the screening of asymptomatic patients with immunochemical FOBT can identify patients with colorectal neoplasia to a certain extent, the sensitivity is relatively low and different according to the tumor location. Therefore, programmatic and repeated screening by immunochemical FOBT may be necessary to increase sensitivity for colorectal cancer detection.

Extracolonic findings at CT colonography.
Sosna J, Kruskal JB, Bar-Ziv J, Copel L, Sella T
Abdom Imaging 2005 Aug 11;.

This review focuses on the detection of extracolonic findings at CT colonography (CTC). Since its introduction, it has been regarded as a promising alternative to conventional colonoscopy for the detection of colorectal polyps and cancers. Unlike conventional colonoscopy and barium enema, CTC allows evaluation not only of the colon but also visualization of the lung bases, the abdomen, and the pelvis. CTC is performed with thin sections (1-5 mm) and small intervals (0.5-2 mm), enabling superb image reconstruction. The ability to evaluate the extracolonic structures can present a clinical dilemma. On the one hand, CTC may incidentally demonstrate asymptomatic malignant diseases or other clinically important conditions, thus possibly reducing morbidity or mortality. On the other hand, CTC may reveal numerous findings of no clinical relevance; this could result in costly additional diagnostic examinations with an increase in morbidity and overall negative impact on patients' health. In this article, extracolonic findings at CTC will be reviewed and the potential benefits and disadvantages will be presented.

Limitations of Barium Enema Performed as an Adjunct to Incomplete Colonoscopy.
Martinez F, Kondylis P, Reilly J
Dis Colon Rectum 2005 Aug 3;.

PURPOSE: Colonoscopy is believed to be inadequate in 4 to 24 percent of procedures. Barium enema often is utilized to complete the examination. In radiology literature, a successful barium enema in this setting requires only that the cecum has been reached. In this study, completion barium enema was assessed for both completeness and quality of proximal visualization. METHODS: The charts of 16,216 patients undergoing colonoscopy at Saint Vincent Health Center from July 1995 to July 2003 were reviewed to identify patients who underwent barium enema within six months of an incomplete colonoscopy. Incomplete colonoscopies were audited for history of previous abdominal/pelvic surgery, level of colon attained, and apparent reasons for failure. Corresponding barium enema reports were evaluated in a similar fashion. RESULTS: In 485 patients (2.9 percent), colonoscopy was incomplete. One hundred eighteen patients underwent barium enema after incomplete colonoscopy. In these patients, sharp angulation (42 percent) or redundancy/looping (31 percent) most often limited endoscopy. Among the barium enema studies, 91 (77 percent) were technically adequate. Twenty-seven studies were suboptimal (poor preparation/intolerance = 7, redundancy = 6, poor filling = 6, stricture/narrowing = 6, severe diverticulosis = 2). Two patients demonstrated additional polyps. There was no correlation between reasons for endoscopic failure and inadequacy of barium enema. Completeness of barium enema was not affected by previous pelvic surgery. Immediate barium enema was no less complete than a delayed study. CONCLUSIONS: The reliability of barium enema after incomplete colonoscopy is less than previously reported.

Effectiveness of walking exercise as a bowel preparation for colonoscopy: a randomized controlled trial.
Kim HS, Park DH, Kim JW, Jee MG, Baik SK, Kwon SO, Lee DK
Am J Gastroenterol 2005 Sep;100(9):1964-9.

OBJECTIVES: This prospective study was conducted to assess the effect of walking exercise on bowel cleansing before colonoscopy and to define a patient subgroup that would benefit from walking exercise. METHODS: A total of 383 outpatients were randomized into two groups (G1 [n = 196]; walking exercise, G2 [n = 187]; nonexercise). Those randomized to G1 were instructed to drink 250 mL of polyethylene glycol (PEG) solution and then walk at least for 5 min at intervals of 10 min whereas those randomized to G2 were instructed to drink and then take rest in a waiting room until the entire 2.5-3 L volume was consumed. The amount of walking exercise in both groups was estimated using a step counter. A single endoscopist estimated the efficacy of cleansing in a single-blinded manner. Patient's demographics, various parameters related to bowel preparation, and the degree of patients discomfort caused by the walking exercise were assessed. RESULTS: The number of step counts taken was significantly different for the two groups (p < 0.001). The degree of bowel cleansing in the G1 (n = 189) and G2 (n = 177) groups was significantly different (p < 0.01). However, the groups were similar in terms of all other data collected. By univariate analysis, walking exercise was especially beneficial to a subgroup of nonobese patients of age <65 yr, without history of abdominal surgery. Also, multivariate logistic regression analysis demonstrated that nonexercise (OR = 0.49; 95% CI = 0.31-0.79) was an independent risk factor for poor bowel cleansing. Most walking patients (97.3%) considered walking exercise more comfortable than taking the polyethylene glycol solution. CONCLUSION: The walking exercise was found to improve colonoscopic bowel cleansing without significant patient discomfort.

What's the Value of Diagnostic Tools in Defecation Disorders?
Nurko S
J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 2005 Sep;41 Suppl 1:S53-S55.

Psychosocial factors: impact on symptom severity and outcomes of pediatric functional gastrointestinal disorders.
Walker LS, Jones DS
J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 2005 Sep;41 Suppl 1:S51-2.

Do the Rome Criteria Help the Doctor or the Patient?
Rowland M, Bourke B, Drumm B
J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 2005 Sep;41 Suppl 1:S32-S33.

Clinical relevance of small-bowel findings detected by wireless capsule endoscopy.
Sturniolo GC, Di Leo V, Vettorato MG, D'Inca R
Scand J Gastroenterol 2005 Jun;40(6):725-33.

OBJECTIVE: Capsule endoscopy is becoming known as a valid tool for identifying sources of obscure gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding. Fewer data are available about its clinical value for other indications. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Sixty patients (31 F, mean age 47 years, range 14-80 years) with no signs of overt GI bleeding were investigated by Given M2A video capsule for suspected small-bowel disease. The main clinical features were: iron deficient anemia (20), abdominal pain (12), chronic diarrhea (9), malabsorption and weight loss (7), Crohn's disease (CD) (5), and familial adenomatous polyposis (3). Three patients underwent wireless endoscopy for suspected GI neoplasm and one for portal thrombosis. RESULTS: Complete vision of the small bowel was achieved in 55 patients. No small-bowel lesions were identified in 17 patients, but 5 of them had gastric abnormalities. Small-bowel abnormality was found in 38 patients. Lesions compatible with CD were found in 14 patients, diffuse or patchy enteropathy in 7 and polyps in 6. Actively bleeding lesions were detected in 6 patients and potential bleeding sources in 5. Capsule endoscopy had an overall diagnostic yield of 62%. In particular, three small-bowel malignancies were detected and 9 patients received a better definition of their already-known pathology. However, further endoscopies were needed in 10 patients to obtain a diagnosis. One patient, diagnosed with ileal CD, underwent surgery, as the capsule remained trapped in a stricture. CONCLUSIONS: Wireless endoscopy effectively visualizes small-bowel abnormalities even though more accurate selection of the patients is needed in order to optimize its diagnostic efficacy.

Three-dimensional biomechanical properties of the human rectum evaluated with magnetic resonance imaging.
Frokjaer JB, Liao D, Bergmann A, McMahon BP, Steffensen E, Drewes AM, Gregersen H
Neurogastroenterol Motil 2005 Aug;17(4):531-540.

Abstract A method to evaluate the three-dimensional (3-D) geometry of the human gastrointestinal wall may be valuable for understanding tissue biomechanics, mechano-sensation and function. In this paper we present a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) based method to determine rectal geometry and validation of data obtained in three volunteers. A specially designed rectal bag was filled in a stepwise manner while MRI and bag pressure were recorded. 3-D models of curvatures, radii of curvature, tension and stress were generated and the circumferential and longitudinal strains were calculated. The computed bag volumes corresponded to the infused volumes. A pronounced bag elongation and decrease in wall thickness was observed during the bag filling. The spatial distributions of the biomechanical parameters were distinctly different between individuals and non-homogeneous throughout the rectal wall due to its complex geometry. The average tension and stress increased as a function of infused volume and circumferential strain. The present study provides a method for characterizing the complex in vivo 3-D geometry of the human rectum. The non-homogenous spatial curvature distribution suggests that simple estimates of tension based on pressure and volume do not reflect the true 3-D biomechanical properties of the rectum.

Radiological appearances in the pelvis following rectal cancer surgery.
Tan PL, Chan CL, Moore NR
Clin Radiol 2005 Aug;60(8):846-55.

Radiology has a significant role in the evaluation of surgery for rectal cancer. With recent developments in surgical techniques, the number of neorectal reservoir configurations has increased. It is important to recognize the normal and abnormal appearances, both early and late, following pelvic surgery. The aim of this pictorial review is to demonstrate the imaging techniques that are used in both the investigation and the follow-up of patients who have undergone uncomplicated or complicated rectal resection.
3 Coloproctology 2005 06
Abnormal appearance of the internal anal sphincter at ultrasound: a specific feature of progressive systemic sclerosis?
Daniel F, De Parades V, Cellier C
Gastroenterol Clin Biol 2005 May;29(5):597-9.
Endosonography is now an effective tool for the assessment of anorectal pathologies. We present a case of rectal prolapse in a patient with progressive systemic sclerosis, with low resting anal pressure, no rectoanal inhibitory reflex in manometry, and a thin, heterogeneous, difficult to delineate, internal sphincter on endoanal ultrasound. We also provide a review of the literature on anorectal involvement in progressive systemic sclerosis.

Colonoscopy vs CT colonography to screen for colorectal neoplasia in average-risk patients.
Hardacre JM, Ponsky JL, Baker ME
Surg Endosc 2005 Mar;19(3):448-56.

Spasmolysis at CT Colonography: Butyl Scopolamine versus Glucagon.
Rogalla P, Lembcke A, Ruckert JC, Hein E, Bollow M, Rogalla NE, Hamm B
Radiology 2005 Jul;236(1):184-8.

PURPOSE: To retrospectively determine if the use of butyl scopolamine or glucagon in the supine patient improves colonic distention and reduces the number of collapsed intestinal segments at computed tomographic (CT) colonography. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This study had institutional review board approval; subject informed consent was not required. CT colonography was performed without the administration of an intravenous spasmolytic in 80 asymptomatic subjects (group 1; 45 women, 35 men; age range, 48-77 years; mean, 61.9 years). These subjects were matched with two groups of 80 subjects who were similar in age but were premedicated with glucagon (group 2; 41 women, 39 men; age range, 43-76 years; mean, 63.1 years) or butyl scopolamine (group 3; 43 women, 37 men; age range, 34-77 years; mean, 63.4 years). All 240 subjects were examined in the supine position with multisection CT and a section thickness of 1 mm after intravenous contrast agent administration and rectal carbon dioxide insufflation. The colon was divided into seven segments, and the colon length, total volume, radial distensibility, and number of nondistended segments were calculated for each subject and compared among the three groups. Statistical analysis was performed with analysis of variance and chi(2) testing. RESULTS: Mean bowel length was not significantly different among the groups. Mean colon volumes and radial distensibilities, respectively, were 1.84 L and 3.69 cm in group 1, 2.14 L and 3.98 cm in group 2, and 2.35 L and 4.23 cm in group 3; differences in colon volume and radial distensibility were significant only between group 1 and group 3 (P < .001). At CT colonography, 29 segments in 20 group 1 subjects were collapsed, 23 segments in 12 group 2 subjects were collapsed, and 11 segments in six group 3 subjects were collapsed (P = .016). CONCLUSION: Premedication with butyl scopolamine or, less effectively, glucagon improves colonic distention in the supine subject. (c) RSNA, 2005.

Clinical utility of diagnostic tests for constipation in adults: a systematic review.
Rao SS, Ozturk R, Laine L.
Am J Gastroenterol 2005 Jul;100(7):1605-15.

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Because symptoms alone do not identify pathophysiology or differentiate subgroups of constipation, diagnostic tests are generally recommended. However, their utility is not known. We performed a systematic review of diagnostic tests commonly used in constipation. METHODS: We searched the English literature using MEDLINE and PUBMED databases from 1966 to 2004 for studies in adults published as full manuscripts whose methodological quality was above a minimum score. RESULTS: No studies assessed the routine use of blood tests or abdominal x-ray. One retrospective endoscopic study showed that cancer and polyp detection rate was comparable to historical controls. Two studies of barium enema were unhelpful in diagnosis of constipation. Physiological studies showed differences in study population, methodology, and interpretation, and there was no gold standard. Ten colonic transit studies showed prevalence of 38-80% in support of slow transit constipation. Nine anorectal manometry studies showed prevalence of 20-75% for detecting dyssynergia. Nine studies of balloon expulsion showed impaired expulsion of 23-67%. Among 10 defecography studies, abnormalities were reported in 25-90% and dyssynergia in 13-37%. CONCLUSIONS: Evidence to support the use of blood tests, radiography, or endoscopy in the routine work up of patients with constipation without alarm features is lacking. Colonic transit, anorectal manometry, and balloon expulsion tests reveal physiologic abnormalities in many selected patients with constipation, but no single test adequately defines pathophysiology. Large, well-designed, prospective studies are required to examine the utility of these tests.

Positive predictive value of fecal occult blood testing in persons taking warfarin.
Bini EJ, Rajapaksa RC, Weinshel EH
Am J Gastroenterol 2005 Jul;100(7):1586-92.

BACKGROUND: In clinical practice, some physicians discontinue warfarin prior to fecal occult blood testing (FOBT). Although anticoagulant use is associated with an increased risk of overt gastrointestinal bleeding, the impact of warfarin on the positive predictive value of FOBT is unknown. METHODS: During a 5-yr period, we prospectively studied all patients taking warfarin who were referred for the evaluation of a positive FOBT. For each patient taking warfarin, we enrolled one age- and gender-matched control subject with a positive FOBT who was not taking anticoagulants. A detailed clinical history was obtained, and all subjects underwent colonoscopy and esophagogastroduodenoscopy. RESULTS: Lesions consistent with occult bleeding were identified in 59.0% of the 210 patients in the warfarin group and 53.8% of the 210 control subjects (p= 0.27). Although more lesions were identified by colonoscopy in the warfarin group than in control subjects (36.2%vs 25.7%, p= 0.02), there was no difference in the frequency of lesions identified by esophagogastroduodenoscopy (35.2%vs 39.5%, p= 0.43). Overall, adenomas >/=1 cm in diameter (16.2%) and colorectal carcinoma (9.5%) were the most common lesions identified by colonoscopy, while erosive gastritis (15.5%) and erosive duodenitis (11.0%) were the most frequent lesions found by esophagogastroduodenoscopy. Among individuals with colorectal cancer, 83.3% of patients in the warfarin group had early cancers (Dukes' stage A or B) compared with 50.0% of control subjects (p= 0.046). CONCLUSIONS: Warfarin use did not decrease the positive predictive value of FOBT. These findings suggest that warfarin should not be discontinued prior to FOBT. (Am J Gastroenterol 2005;100:1-7).

A new complication from a new technology: what a general surgeon should know about wireless capsule endoscopy.
Chang PK, Holt EG, De Villiers WJ, Boulanger BR
Am Surg 2005 May;71(5):455-8.

Wireless capsule endoscopy has revolutionized the diagnostic evaluation of the small intestine and is increasingly used by gastroenterologists. However, complications can occur with this seemingly safe procedure. We report two cases of Crohn's disease in which capsule endoscopy was performed with retention of the capsules. Both patients were taken to the operating room electively after careful preoperative planning to address both the surgical aspect of Crohn's disease and the retained capsule. We reviewed the literature on the use of wireless capsule endoscopy in patients with Crohn's disease and discuss the approach to a new surgical complication.

CT-angiography for the detection of a lower gastrointestinal bleeding source.
Duchesne J, Jacome T, Serou M, Tighe D, Gonzales A, Hunt JP, Marr AB, Weintraub SL
Am Surg 2005 May;71(5):392-7.

The evaluation of lower gastrointestinal bleeding (LGIB) often involves the collaborative efforts of the gastroenterologist, radiologist, and surgeon. Efforts to localize the acute LGIB have traditionally involved colonoscopy, technetium-labeled red blood cell (RBC) scintigraphy, angiography, or a combination of these modalities. The sensitivity of each method of diagnosis is limited, with the most common cause of a negative study the spontaneous cessation of hemorrhage. Other technical factors include vasospasm, lack of adequate contrast volume or exposure time, a venous bleeding source, and a large surface bleeding area. We report the use of multidetector computed tomography (MDCT), or CT-angiography (CT-A), in the initial evaluation of LGIB, and speculate on the incorporation of this technique into a diagnostic algorithm to treat LGIB. MDCT may offer a very sensitive means to evaluate the source of acute LGIB, while avoiding some of the morbidity and intense resource use of contrast angiography, and may provide unique morphologic information regarding the type of pathology. Screening with the more rapid and available MDCT, followed by either directed therapeutic angiography or surgical management, may represent a reasonable algorithm for the early evaluation and management of acute LGIB in which an active bleeding source is strongly suspected.

Double balloon enteroscopy-the last blind-point of the gastrointestinal tract.
Su MY, Liu NJ, Hsu CM, Chiu CT, Chen PC, Lin CJ
Dig Dis Sci 2005 Jun;50(6):1041-5.

Technical challenges have obstructed the diagnosis and treatment of small intestine disease. An innovative form of enteroscopy-the double balloon method-permits visualization of the complete small intestine, to-and-fro examination of an area of interest, and biopsy and endoscopic procedures which are safer, faster, and less painful than earlier methods. From October 2003 to May 2004, a total of 10 patients with obscure gastrointestinal bleeding received 12 enteroscopic examinations, 8 per oral and 4 per rectal examinations, while 2 patients received per oral enteroscopy first and further per rectal procedures 2 days later. Two cases with intestinal submucosal tumors were discovered by per oral enteroscopy, one with a 5-cm SMT with reddish mucosa at the jejunum and another with a 4-cm SMT and surface ulceration, in which the biopsy showed GIST. Both patients received an operation later. Four patients were found to have intestinal angiodysplasia in jejunum(per oral) and one in ileum (per rectal), and after local therapy bleeding stopped. Multiple angiodysplasias were observed in a patient who was operated on for active bleeding from the ileum after Indian ink tattooing. The two patients who received per oral and per rectal procedures did not display definite small intestinal lesions. All patients underwent the procedures satisfactorily without any complications, and the examination times varied from 90 to 360 min. Double balloon enteroscopy permits deep insertion of an endoscope into the small intestine without excessive stretching of the intestinal tract. This method can use either an oral or an anal approach. To-and-fro observation of almost the complete small intestine is possible, as are interventions.

MR enteroclysis: imaging technique of choice in diagnosis of small bowel diseases.
Wiarda BM, Kuipers EJ, Houdijk LP, Tuynman HA
Dig Dis Sci 2005 Jun;50(6):1036-40.

MR enteroclysis is becoming a very important imaging modality in the workup and follow-up of small bowel diseases. The technique has many advantages, including the absence of ionizing radiation, ability to control luminal distension, superior tissue characterization, multiplanar capabilities, and mural and extramural visualization. These capabilities can be obtained with a simple protocol showing excellent agreement with conventional enteroclysis. In 29 (18 with new or known Crohn's disease) of the 50 patients pathology was detected, with a very good clinical correlation. In 14 patients MR enteroclysis data altered the therapeutic strategy. This contributes to the acceptance of this modality as a primary tool in small bowel diseases.

Measurement of gastrointestinal transit.
Lin HC, Prather C, Fisher RS, Meyer JH, Summers RW, Pimentel M, McCallum RW, Akkermans LM, Loening-Baucke V
Dig Dis Sci 2005 Jun;50(6):989-1004.

An abnormality in transit is commonly considered to account for unexplained gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms. Since the symptoms of delayed transit overlap with those of accelerated transit, direct measurement of GI transit is needed to establish an accurate diagnosis. Similarly, since symptoms originating from one part of the gut may overlap with symptoms from another, localizing transit abnormality to one organ vs. another using direct measurement is an important part of diagnostic evaluations. Consequently, noninvasive tests of GI transit should be done early in the evaluation to guide therapy. We now have tools to measure transit accurately; results of transit tests often depend on the conditions selected for the test, so test results will match clinical expectations most closely when test conditions are selected to reproduce the circumstances for symptom production. This review describes the most commonly used methods for the measurement of GI transit including the gastric emptying test for some dyspeptic symptoms, small bowel transit test for dyspeptic symptoms and diarrhea, colonic transit test for constipation, and factors that influence the result of these studies. As we make progress in our understanding of the pathophysiology of transit disorders, the clinical usefulness of these diagnostic tests will be further enhanced.

Polyethylene Glycol versus Sodium Phosphate in Bowel Cleansing for Colonoscopy: a Randomized Trial.

Huppertz-Hauss G, Bretthauer M, Sauar J, Paulsen J, Kjellevold O, Majak B, Hoff G
Endoscopy 2005 Jun;37(6):537-41.

BACKGROUND AND STUDY AIMS: There have been conflicting results regarding the adverse effects of established bowel cleansing regimens. The aim of the present study was to compare the effects of three bowel cleansing regimens on subjective well-being, electrolyte balance, cardiac arrhythmia, and the microscopic post-cleansing appearance of the colonic mucosa. PATIENTS AND METHODS: A total of 231 consecutive outpatients were randomly assigned to receive bowel preparation for colonoscopy with either 4 l polyethylene glycol (PEG; group I, n = 76); 2 l PEG plus 10 mg Bisacodyl (group II, n = 71); or 90 ml sodium phosphate (group III, n = 84). After bowel preparation, the participants completed a questionnaire on symptoms. Endoscopists blinded to the regimen used gave scores for the quality of cleansing at endoscopy, ranging from poor (0) to very good (5). Blood samples were taken before and after bowel cleansing, electrocardiographic monitoring was used during colonoscopy, and mucosal biopsy samples were taken in the sigmoid colon. RESULTS: Bowel preparation in group II was poorer (mean score 3.26) than in groups I (3.88) and III (4.01); P < 0.001 (II vs. III), P < 0.001 (I vs. II). The frequency of arrhythmias and post-cleansing mucosal inflammation was similar in all three groups. Lower serum potassium and higher serum phosphate concentrations were found in group III in comparison with the other groups ( P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: No differences were detected regarding the effectiveness and safety of bowel preparation with PEG alone and sodium phosphate in individuals without cardiac, renal, or hepatic failure, despite a significantly stronger alteration of the electrolyte balance with sodium phosphate.

Accuracy of Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Rectal Cancer Depends on Location of the Tumor.
Peschaud F, Cuenod CA, Benoist S, Julie C, Beauchet A, Siauve N, Taieb-Kasbi F, Penna C, Nordlinger B
Dis Colon Rectum 2005 May 26;.

PURPOSE: This study was designed to evaluate prospectively magnetic resonance imaging for the prediction of the circumferential resection margin in rectal cancer to identify in which patient magnetic resonance imaging could accurately assess the circumferential resection margin before surgery and in which patients it could not. METHODS: During a 17-month period, a preoperative magnetic resonance imaging for the assessment of circumferential resection margin was obtained prospectively in 38 patients with mid or low rectal cancer. The agreement of magnetic resonance imaging and pathologic examination for assessment of circumferential resection margin was analyzed. RESULTS: Overall, magnetic resonance imaging agreed with histologic examination of the circumferential resection margin assessment in 28 patients (73 percent; kappa = 0.47). In all cases of disagreement between magnetic resonance imaging and pathology, magnetic resonance imaging overestimated the circumferential resection margin involvement. For the 11 patients with mid rectal cancer, circumferential resection margin was well predicted by magnetic resonance imaging in all cases (kappa = 1). For 27 patients with low rectal tumor, overall agreement between magnetic resonance imaging and histologic assessment was 63 percent (kappa = 0.35). Agreement was 22 percent (kappa = 0.03) for the 9 patients with low anterior and 83 percent (kappa = 0.67) for the 18 patients with low posterior rectal tumor. Univariate analysis revealed that only low and anterior rectal tumor was risk factor of overestimation of the circumferential resection margin by magnetic resonance imaging. CONCLUSIONS: Although magnetic resonance imaging remains the best imaging tool for the preoperative assessment of the circumferential resection margin in patients with rectal cancer, it can overestimate the circumferential resection margin involvement in low and anterior tumor with the risk of overtreating the patients.

Electrophysiologic Anal Tests and Sacral Nerve Modulation.
Pelliccioni G, Scarpino O.
Dis Colon Rectum 2005 May 31;.

The Authors Reply.
Altomare DF, Monitillo V.
Dis Colon Rectum 2005 May 25;.

Interval faecal occult blood testing in a colonoscopy based screening programme detects additional pathology.
Bampton PA, Sandford JJ, Cole SR, Smith A, Morcom J, Cadd B, Young GP.
Gut 2005 Jun;54(6):803-6.

BACKGROUND: Colonoscopic based surveillance is recommended for patients at increased risk of colorectal cancer. The appropriate interval between surveillance colonoscopies remains in debate, as is the "miss rate" for colorectal cancer within such screening programmes. AIMS: The main aim of this study was to determine whether a one-off interval faecal occult blood test (FOBT) facilitates the detection of significant neoplasia within a colonoscopic based surveillance programme. Secondary aims were to determine if invitees were interested in participating in interval screening, and to determine whether interval lesions were missed or whether they developed rapidly since the previous colonoscopy PATIENTS: Patients enrolled in a colonoscopic based screening programme due to a personal history of colorectal neoplasia or a significant family history. METHODS: Patients within the screening programme were invited to perform an immunochemical FOBT (Inform). A positive result was followed by colonoscopy; significant neoplasia was defined as colorectal cancer, adenomas either > or =10 mm or with a villous component, high grade dysplasia, or multiplicity (>/=3 adenomas). Participation rates were determined for age, sex, and socioeconomic subgroups. Colonoscopy recall databases were examined to determine the interval between previous colonoscopy and FOBT offer, and correlations between lesion characteristics and interval time were determined. RESULTS: A total of 785 of 1641 patients invited (47.8%) completed an Inform kit. A positive result was recorded for 57 (7.3%). Fifty two of the 57 test positive patients completed colonoscopy; 14 (1.8% of those completing the FOBT) had a significant neoplastic lesion. These consisted of six colorectal cancers and eight significant adenomas. CONCLUSIONS: A one off immunochemical faecal occult blood test within a colonoscopy based surveillance programme had a participation rate of nearly 50% and appeared to detect additional pathology, especially in patients with a past history of colonic neoplasia.

Calculating colon transit time withradionuclide-filled capsules in constipated patients: a new method for colon transit study.
Kekilli E, Yagmur C, Isik B, Aydin OM
Abdom Imaging 2005 May 2;.

BACKGROUND: Colon motility disorders require reliable methods for calculating segmental colonic transit time. This study evaluated bowel transit time by means of a safe, easy, cheap, nondigestive, and nondisintegrating radionuclide-filled capsule that provided accurate and clear images. METHODS: Radionuclide-filled minicontainers (MCs) were prepared from infusion sets by an apparatus used for sealing blood bags or plasmapheresis sets. In vitro stability studies were performed by immersing 5% methylene blue dye-filled MCs in buffers of variable pH and enzymes simulating the conditions in the stomach and the small bowel. Colon transit scintigraphy was performed with MCs filled with iodine 131 (n = 5) and thallium 201 (n = 8) that were placed in a commercially available capsule. RESULTS: By in vitro acid, base, and intestinal enzyme resistance tests, no methylene blue leakage was determined visually and by spectrophotometric analysis. Accurate and clear images were obtained for colon transit study in constipated patients. After excretion of MCs in the feces, abdominal, myocardial, thyroid, and urinary bladder region counts were found to show the same activity as the background. Radionuclide leakage from MCs was not determined in vivo by gamma camera. CONCLUSIONS: This is a suitable, safe, easy, and cheap method to provide accurate and clear images for colon transit study in constipated patients.

Haemorrhagic shock caused by splenic rupture following routine colonoscopy.
Pfefferkorn U, Hamel CT, Viehl CT, Marti WR, Oertli D
Int J Colorectal Dis 2005 Apr 14;.

Comparison of capsule endoscopy and magnetic resonance (MR) enteroclysis in suspected small bowel disease.
Golder SK, Schreyer AG, Endlicher E, Feuerbach S, Scholmerich J, Kullmann F, Seitz J, Rogler G, Herfarth H
Int J Colorectal Dis 2005 Apr 22;.

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Small bowel MR enteroclysis and wireless capsule endoscopy (WCE) are new diagnostic tools for the investigation of the small bowel. The aim of this study was to compare the diagnostic yield of WCE with MR enteroclysis in the detection of small bowel pathologies. METHODS: A total of 36 patients were included in the study. Indications for imaging of the small bowel were proven or suspected small bowel Crohn's disease (CD; n=18), obscure gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding (n=14) and tumour surveillance (n=4). RESULTS: In patients with Crohn's disease WCE detected significantly more inflammatory lesions in the first two segments of the small bowel compared with MR enteroclysis (12 patients vs. 1 patient, p=0.016). In 5 out of 14 (36%) patients with GI bleeding, angiodysplasia was detected as a possible bleeding source. Three of these patients had active bleeding sites detected by WCE. One patient had scattered inflammation of the mucosa. MR enteroclysis did not reveal any intestinal abnormalities in this patient group. MR enteroclysis provided extraintestinal pathologies in 10 out of 36 (28%) patients. CONCLUSION: In patients with Crohn's disease WCE revealed significantly more inflammatory lesions in the proximal and middle part of the small bowel in comparison to MR enteroclysis, whereas in patients with obscure GI bleeding WCE was superior to MR enteroclysis.

History of negative colorectal endoscopy and risk of rectosigmoid neoplasms at screening flexible sigmoidoscopy.
Bonelli L, Sciallero S, Senore C, Zappa M, Aste H, Andreoni B, Angioli D, Ferraris R, Gasperoni S, Malfitana G, Pennazio M, Atkin W, Segnan N
Int J Colorectal Dis 2005 Apr 28;.

Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that the interval between screening sigmoidoscopies could be safely expanded beyond 5 years for subjects without specific risk factors for colorectal cancer.

Incomplete screening flexible sigmoidoscopy associated with female sex, age, and increased risk of colorectal cancer.
Doria-Rose VP, Newcomb PA, Levin TR
Gut 2005 May 4;.

Older individuals and women are at an increased risk of having an inadequate sigmoidoscopy. Because inadequate sigmoidoscopy results in an increased risk of subsequent CRC, physicians should consider steps to maximize the depth of insertion of the sigmoidoscope or, failing this, should consider an alternate screening test.

The role of video capsule endoscopy for evaluating obscure gastrointestinal bleeding: usefulness of early use.
Bresci G, Parisi G, Bertoni M, Tumino E, Capria A
J Gastroenterol 2005 Mar;40(3):256-9.

BACKGROUND: We report our preliminary experience with the use of video capsule endoscopy (VCE) in 64 patients with obscure gastrointestinal bleeding (OGIB) and suspected small intestine disease. METHODS: To be eligible for VCE, patients had to have undergone upper endoscopy, small bowel series, and colonscopy without discovering any source of bleeding. To find the best timing to perform VCE, the patients were retrospectively divided in two groups of 32 cases each: group 1 with patients who had been submitted to VCE within 15 days from OGIB diagnosis, and group 2 with patients who had been submitted to VCE at least 15 days after OGIB diagnosis. RESULTS: Lesions were found by VCE in 29 (91%) in group 1: angioectasia-like lesions of the small bowel in 12, some erosions of the ileum without signs of bleeding in 14, a polyp with erosions in 1, and a bleeding site where the surgery showed a tumor of the ileum in 2 patients. In 2 cases, VCE missed showing two small tumors that were revealed by laparoscopy in 1 case and by push enteroscopy in the other. In group 2, lesions were found by VCE in 11 (34%): angioectasia-like lesions of the small bowel in 6, some erosions in 3, a short segmental stenosis in 1, and two polyps in 1. In 1 case, VCE missed showing a small polyp in the jejunum that was revealed by push enteroscopy. In none of these cases was a bleeding site identified. VCE was well tolerated and able to acquire good images in patients with OGIB. It showed lesions in 91% of the patients in group 1 and 34% of cases in group 2. CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest that the optimal timing to perform VCE is within a few days after the occurrence of bleeding, possibly within 2 weeks.

Meta-analysis: computed tomographic colonography.
Mulhall BP, Veerappan GR, Jackson JL
Ann Intern Med 2005 Apr 19;142(8):635-50.

BACKGROUND: Computed tomographic (CT) colonography, also called virtual colonoscopy, is an evolving technology under evaluation as a new method of screening for colorectal cancer. However, its performance as a test has varied widely across studies, and the reasons for these discrepancies are poorly defined. PURPOSE: To systematically review the test performance of CT colonography compared to colonoscopy or surgery and to assess variables that may affect test performance. DATA SOURCES: The PubMed, MEDLINE, and EMBASE databases and the Cochrane Controlled Trials Register were searched for English-language articles published between January 1975 and February 2005. STUDY SELECTION: Prospective studies of adults undergoing CT colonography after full bowel preparation, with colonoscopy or surgery as the gold standard, were selected. Studies had to have used state-of-the-art technology, including at least a single-detector CT scanner with supine and prone positioning, insufflation of the colon with air or carbon dioxide, collimation smaller than 5 mm, and both 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional views during scan interpretation. The evaluators of the colonogram had to be unaware of the findings from use of the gold standard test. Data on sensitivity and specificity overall and for detection of polyps less than 6 mm, 6 to 9 mm, and greater than 9 mm in size were abstracted. Sensitivities and specificities weighted by sample size were calculated, and heterogeneity was explored by using stratified analyses and meta-regression. DATA SYNTHESIS: 33 studies provided data on 6393 patients. The sensitivity of CT colonography was heterogeneous but improved as polyp size increased (48% [95% CI, 25% to 70%] for detection of polyps <6 mm, 70% [CI, 55% to 84%] for polyps 6 to 9 mm, and 85% [CI, 79% to 91%] for polyps >9 mm). Characteristics of the CT colonography scanner, including width of collimation, type of detector, and mode of imaging, explained some of this heterogeneity. In contrast, specificity was homogenous (92% [CI, 89% to 96%] for detection of polyps <6 mm, 93% [CI, 91% to 95%] for polyps 6 to 9 mm, and 97% [CI, 96% to 97%] for polyps >9 mm). LIMITATIONS: The studies differed widely, and the extractable variables explained only a small amount of the heterogeneity. In addition, only a few studies examined the newest CT colonography technology. CONCLUSIONS: Computed tomographic colonography is highly specific, but the range of reported sensitivities is wide. Patient or scanner characteristics do not fully account for this variability, but collimation, type of scanner, and mode of imaging explain some of the discrepancy. This heterogeneity raises concerns about consistency of performance and about technical variability. These issues must be resolved before CT colonography can be advocated for generalized screening for colorectal cancer.

Clinical utility and cost-effectiveness of routine preoperative computed tomography scanning in patients with colon cancer.
Mauchley DC, Lynge DC, Langdale LA, Stelzner MG, Mock CN, Billingsley KG
Am J Surg 2005 May;189(5):512-7.

BACKGROUND: The aims of this study were to assess the clinical utility of the practice of routine preoperative CT scanning and to determine its cost-effectiveness in colon cancer patients. METHODS: A 6-year database of colon cancer patients treated at a veterans affairs medical was reviewed to determine the influence of preoperative CT scanning on clinical management. Cost analysis involved comparison of the institutional cost of CT scanning with the cost savings provided by avoiding nontherapeutic operations. RESULTS: CT scans were obtained in 130 consecutive patients. CT scans provided information that was used in treatment planning in 43 (33%) patients and definitively altered the mode of treatment in 21 (16%) patients. The practice saved the institution $24,018 over 6 years. CONCLUSION: Routine preoperative CT scanning definitively alters treatment in a small number of cases and is cost-effective.

Validation of a flexible endoscopy simulator.
Felsher JJ, Olesevich M, Farres H, Rosen M, Fanning A, Dunkin BJ, Marks JM
Am J Surg 2005 Apr;189(4):497-500.

BACKGROUND: Virtual reality (VR) simulation is a rapidly proliferating adjunct of surgical training. Numerous devices have evolved as educational tools in a variety of fields. Whether these tools can be used for validation of physicians' skills has yet to be determined. The objective of this study was to determine whether the GI Mentor (Simbionix, Lod, Israel) flexible endoscopy simulator construct could distinguish experienced endoscopists from beginners. METHODS: Seventy-five surgical attendings, fellows, and residents were recruited for participation in the study. Two cohorts were used and these groups were selected from 2 separate scientific sessions. Participants completed a standardized questionnaire documenting their endoscopic training and experience. Physicians subsequently were designated as experienced or beginner after their endoscopic training and experience were evaluated. All participants completed 1 of 2 colonoscopic simulations. The GI Mentor objectively evaluated performance on the basis of programmed data points, including the time to reach the cecum, the percentage of mucosa visualized, the completed polypectomy rate, the percentage of time spent in clear view through the lumen, the percentage of time that the patient was in pain, and overall efficiency. RESULTS: In both simulations, experienced endoscopists were more efficient than beginners (.32%/s vs. .26%/s, P=.02; and .53%/s vs. .37%/s, P=.03) and achieved a greater polypectomy rate (78% vs. 43%, P=.03; and 87% vs. 48%, P=.01). Furthermore, experienced endoscopists visualized more of the colonic surface (86% vs. 82%, P=.02) and spent a greater proportion of the time in clear view of the lumen (55% vs. 47%, P=.05) than beginners completing the first simulation. In the second simulation, experienced participants reached the cecum more rapidly than beginners (175 vs. 262 s, P=.01). CONCLUSIONS: The G1 Mentor VR colonoscopy construct appears valid. Significant performance differences were shown between the experienced and beginner cohorts. The beginner participants in this study were all physicians with some degree of endoscopic experience. Therefore, the G1 Mentor distinguished endoscopists of varying experience and exposure. Further validation studies are needed to evaluate the breadth of programs inherent to this simulator and to determine whether it may be used in the future for qualification and certification purposes.

Oil-lubricated colonoscopy: easier and less painful?

Brocchi E, Pezzilli R, Bonora M, Tomassetti P, Romanelli M, Corinaldesi R
Endoscopy 2005 Apr;37(4):340-5.

BACKGROUND AND STUDY AIMS: Methods of lubrication are rarely considered to be a matter for study in gastrointestinal endoscopy. We evaluated a new technique, i. e. the release of seed oil in discrete amounts from the tip of the scope during colonoscopy. PATIENTS AND METHODS: 346 consecutive patients prospectively underwent colonoscopy with a standard lubricating method (using water-soluble jelly; group A) or with the standard method plus seed oil (corn oil) instillations through the biopsy channel (group B). The following variables were evaluated in the two groups: the success rate for total intubation, and the time required to reach the cecum; the time needed to examine the colon at withdrawal; the detection rates for colorectal diseases; the level of pain and degree of difficulty associated with the examination. Patients in whom total colonoscopy was not achieved were asked to undergo a further examination in which the other lubricating technique was used. RESULTS: Successful intubation to the cecum was significantly more frequent ( P < 0.005) in the oil lubrication group (group B, 159/168) than in the control group (group A, 145/170), and less time was needed ( P < 0.001). No significant differences were found with regard to time for examination at withdrawal and detection rates for colorectal diseases. Level of pain and degree of difficulty during colonoscopy were significantly lower in the oil group ( P < 0.001). In the cross-over examinations done in patients in whom total colonoscopy was not achieved, no statistical difference was found between the two groups. We observed no side effects for patients or damage to the instrument. CONCLUSIONS: The proposed technique could be a simple, safe, and inexpensive method for easier and less painful colonoscopy; moreover, it might facilitate difficult examinations. Further studies are needed to confirm our data and to ensure that the use of this technique is not liable to damage the scope.

Clinical impact of capsule endoscopy compared to push enteroscopy: 1-year follow-up study.
Saurin JC, Delvaux M, Vahedi K, Gaudin JL, Villarejo J, Florent C, Gay G, Ponchon T
Endoscopy 2005 Apr;37(4):318-23.

BACKGROUND AND STUDY AIMS: The long-term outcome for patients with obscure bleeding after capsule endoscopy (CE) is still unclear. In this study, the clinical outcome was used as the gold standard to determine the sensitivity and specificity of CE and push enteroscopy (PE) in the diagnosis of small-bowel lesions in patients with obscure bleeding. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Fifty-eight patients from a previous prospective study (comparing PE and CE) were included; the patients were contacted after 1 year. The final diagnosis, bleeding status, new gastrointestinal examinations, and treatments performed were recorded. On the basis of these data, each case was classified into true/false positive or true/false negative findings at PE and CE. The results were compared with the initial classification of lesions observed at CE: highly relevant (P2) and less relevant (P0, P1) lesions. RESULTS: Follow-up data were available for 56 patients. According to the defined true/false positive and negative cases, the sensitivity and specificity values for CE and PE were 92 % and 48 %, and 80 % and 69 %, respectively ( P < 0.01 for the difference between CE and PE). Highly relevant (P2) lesions observed at CE were more frequently classified into true-positive cases (15 of 18 versus seven of 22; P < 0.01) and led more frequently to therapeutic decisions (11 of 18 versus five of 22; P = 0.02) in comparison with less relevant lesions (P0, P1). CONCLUSIONS: CE is a highly sensitive examination for the detection of small-bowel lesions in patients with obscure gastrointestinal bleeding, with a specificity lower than that of PE when the clinical outcome is used as the gold standard.

Effect of acute acoustic stress on anorectal function sensation in healthy human.
Gonlachanvit S, Rhee J, Sun WM, Chey WD
Neurogastroenterol Motil 2005 Apr;17(2):222-8.

Little is known about the effects of acute acoustic stress on anorectal function. To determine the effects of acute acoustic stress on anorectal function and sensation in healthy volunteers. Ten healthy volunteers (7 M, 3 F, mean age 34 +/- 3 years) underwent anorectal manometry, testing of rectal compliance and sensation using a barostat with and without acute noise stress on separate days. Rectal perception was assessed using an ascending method of limits protocol and a 5-point Likert scale. Arousal and anxiety status were evaluated using a visual analogue scale. Acoustic stress significantly increased anxiety score (P < 0.05). Rectal compliance was significantly decreased with acoustic stress compared with control P (P < 0.000001). In addition, less intraballoon volume was needed to induce the sensation of severe urgency with acoustic stress (P < 0.05). Acoustic stress had no effect on hemodynamic parameters, anal sphincter pressure, threshold for first sensation, sensation of stool, or pain. Acute acoustic stimulation increased anxiety scores, decreased rectal compliance, and enhanced perception of severe urgency to balloon distention but did not affect anal sphincter pressure in healthy volunteers. These results may offer insight into the pathogenesis of stress-in-induced diarrhoea and faecal urgency.

Enterocele associated with rectocele revealed by dynamic pelvic CT.
Okamoto N, Maeda K, Kato R, Aoyama H, Hanai T, Sato H, Masumori K, Maruta M
Abdom Imaging 2005 Apr 7;.

Enterocele is often associated with other pelvic floor disorders but it is not always possible to detect by clinical examination. Defecography with peritoneography and/or barium meal intake has recently been developed as a new method to identify enterocele, but this method is an invasive procedure. Multislice computed tomography was performed at rest and during simulated defecation to evaluate an 80-year-old female patient who had a defecation disorder and was diagnosed as having rectocele based on results from defecography and clinical findings. Multiplanar reconstruction images were generated for image evaluation. Using this novel method of dynamic pelvic computed tomography, a third-degree enterocele was clearly demonstrated in this case.

Dark lumen MR colonography based on fecal tagging for detection of colorectal masses: accuracy and patient acceptance.
Goehde SC, Descher E, Boekstegers A, Lauenstein T, Kuhle C, Ruehm SG, Ajaj W
Abdom Imaging 2005 Mar 15;.

BACKGROUND: Magnetic resonance colonography (MRC) with fecal tagging has recently been investigated in clinical studies for the detection of polyps. We assessed fecal tagging MRC in a field trial. METHODS: Forty-two patients in a private gastroenterologic practice underwent MRC with barium-based fecal tagging (150 mL of 100% barium at each of 6 main meals before MRC) and conventional colonoscopy. Diagnostic accuracy of MRC and patient acceptance were assessed and compared with the respective results of conventional colonoscopy. RESULTS: Eighteen percent of all MRC examinations showed a remaining high stool signal in the colon that impeded a reliable inclusion or exclusion of polyps. On a lesion-by-lesion basis, sensitivities for polyp detection were 100% for polyps larger than 2 cm (n = 1), 40% for polyps between 10 and 19 mm, 16.7% for polyps between 6 and 9 mm, and 9.1% for polyps smaller than 6 mm. The main reason for the low acceptance of MRC was the barium preparation, which was rated worse than the bowel cleaning procedure with conventional colonoscopy. CONCLUSION: MRC with fecal tagging must be further optimized. The large amount of barium resulted in poor patient acceptance, and barium according to this protocol did not provide sufficient stool darkening. Other strategies, such as increasing the hydration of stool, must be developed.

Is a 2-liter PEG preparation useful before capsule endoscopy?
Ben-Soussan E, Savoye G, Antonietti M, Ramirez S, Ducrotte P, Lerebours E
J Clin Gastroenterol 2005 May-Jun;39(5):381-4.

AIMS: Small bowel contents can sometimes hamper the quality of capsule images. Our aim was to investigate the effect of PEG administered prior to capsule endoscopy (CE) upon quality of images, gastrointestinal transit time, and detection rate of small bowel bleeding lesions in patients with obscure gastrointestinal bleeding. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Forty-two consecutive patients were included. CE was performed following a 12-hour fasting period. The 16 first patients (Group A) received no preparation and the following 27 patients (Group B) received 2 L of PEG the night before. The quality of images was assessed at both in duodenojejunum and ileum level, using a scale including the presence of air bubbles, biliary secretion, and residue (1-4). RESULTS: Quality of images were not different in Group A compared with Group B in the duodenojejunum and in the ileum. Gastric transit time tended to be shorter in Group A compared with Group B (25.5 vs. 45.7 minutes) (P = 0.15), whereas small bowel transit was not different between both groups (271 vs. 288 minutes). Total small bowel CE examination was complete in Group A and in 24 of 26 in Group B (not significant). Potential bleeding lesions were seen in 8 patients in Group A and 12 in Group B (not significant). CONCLUSION: Our retrospective study suggests that 2 L PEG preparation seems able to improve neither the quality of CE images nor its diagnostic performance. Moreover, in our study, PEG tended to increase gastric emptying time and may constitute a limitation for small bowel complete examination.

The EPAGE Internet Guideline as a Decision Support Tool for Determining the Appropriateness of Colonoscopy.
Terraz O, Wietlisbach V, Jeannot JG, Burnand B, Froehlich F, Gonvers JJ, Harris JK, Vader JP
Digestion 2005 Mar 16;71(2):72-77.

Background: Few studies have examined how physicians perceive guidelines, much less their perceptions of an Internet presentation of such guidelines. This study assessed physicians' acceptance ofan Internet-based guideline on the appropriateness of colonoscopy. Methods: Gastroenterologists participating in an international observational study consulted an Internet-based guideline for consecutive patients referred for colonoscopy. The guideline was produced by the European Panel on the Appropriateness of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (EPAGE), using a validated method (RAND). Through the use of questionnaires, physicians were asked their opinions and perspectives of the guideline and website. Results: There were 289 patients included in the study. The mean time for consulting the website was 1.8 min, and it was considered easy to use by 86% of physicians. The recommendations were easily located for 82% of patients and physicians agreed with the appropriateness in 86% of cases. According to the EPAGE criteria, colonoscopy was appropriate, uncertain, and inappropriate in 59, 28, and 13% of patients, respectively. Conclusions: The EPAGE guideline was considered acceptable and user-friendly and the use, usefulness and relevance of the website were considered acceptable. However, its actual use will depend on the removal of certain organizational and cultural obstacles. Copyright (c) 2005 S. Karger AG, Basel.

Sedation-Free Colonoscopy.
Takahashi Y, Tanaka H, Kinjo M, Sakumoto K
Dis Colon Rectum 2005 Mar 10;.

PURPOSE: The administration of sedative drugs at colonoscopy has its drawbacks, such as increasing the rate of complications and the cost. There are a number of potential advantages to performing colonoscopy without sedation. The aim of this study is to evaluate patient tolerance and acceptance during sedation-free colonoscopy. METHODS: Pain during sedation-free colonoscopy was evaluated in consecutive series of 675 patients in a prospective manner from January 1, 2003, to February 18, 2004. We recorded the degree of patient pain during colonoscopy, willingness to undergo sedation-free colonoscopy in the future, the complication rate, and the intubation time. The assisting endoscopy nurses and patients independently assessed the pain level immediately after the procedure using a four-point pain scale (nil, mild, moderate, severe). RESULTS: Almost all colonoscopies (99.6 percent: 672/675) were successful. There were four complications related to colonoscopy (bleeding after polypectomy). Patients and nurses rated pain by a four-point pain scale as follows. For the patients: nil, 69.6 percent (470/675); mild, 28.0 percent (189/675); moderate, 2.2 percent (15/675); severe, 0.1 percent (1/675). For the nurses: nil, 76.1 percent (514/675); mild, 22.7 percent (153/675); moderate, 0.9 percent (6/675); severe, 0.3 percent (2/675). Patients rarely suffered from severe pain during carefully performed colonoscopies. The pain level of almost all colonoscopies was acceptable by patients, with only six patients (1.0 percent) stating that they would never undergo a colonoscopy without sedation in the future because of unbearable pain. CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that carefully performed sedation-free colonoscopy rarely causes complications and is well accepted by most patients. Sedation-free colonoscopy is more cost-effective, may be safer, and should be offered as an alternative to colonoscopy with sedation.

Hyponatremia and seizures after bowel preparation: report of three cases.
Frizelle FA, Colls BM
Dis Colon Rectum 2005 Feb;48(2):393-6.

Oral sodium phosphate and sodium picosulfates/magnesium citrate are commonly used to evacuate the colon and rectum before colonoscopy or colorectal surgery. These substances, however, are known to cause electrolyte abnormalities. Seizures caused by electrolyte abnormalities associated with bowel preparation have only rarely been reported. We report the cases of three patients with no prior history of seizures, who had their first seizure associated with hyponatremia following ingestion of sodium phosphate or sodium picosulfates/magnesium citrate combination. Care must be taken with patients with a low seizure threshold and those with possible chronic sodium depletion, such as patients on thiazide diuretics, who are undertaking bowel preparation with oral sodium phosphate or sodium picosulfates/magnesium citrate combination.

Digital rectal examination of sphincter pressures in chronic anal fissure is unreliable.
Jones OM, Ramalingam T, Lindsey I, Cunningham C, George BD, Mortensen NJ
Dis Colon Rectum 2005 Feb;48(2):349-52.

PURPOSE: Chronic anal fissure is said to be associated with internal sphincter hypertonia. However, an unknown proportion of fissures may be associated with normal or even low resting pressures and may subsequently be resistant to pharmacological treatments or at risk from surgical treatments, both of which aim to reduce sphincter hypertonia. This study investigated the ability of surgeons to detect low or normal pressure fissures by digital rectal examination. METHODS: Patients with chronic anal fissure were assessed prospectively. The results of anal manometry performed on these patients were compared with digital rectal assessment of sphincter tone undertaken by a surgeon blinded to the manometry results. RESULTS: Forty consecutive patients (21 male) with chronic anal fissure were studied. Twenty-two (55 percent) had normal maximum resting pressure and a further 3 (8 percent) had low pressures on anal manometry. On clinical assessment, only five (13 percent) patients were evaluated as having no anal hypertonia. Clinical assessment of anal tone correctly identified 14 of 15 patients with high manometric maximum resting pressure (sensitivity, 93 percent), yet detected only 4 of 25 patients with normal or low pressures (specificity, 16 percent). The positive predictive value of clinical assessment of anal tone was 40 percent and the negative predictive value, 80 percent. CONCLUSIONS: The incidence of patients with chronic anal fissure without high manometric maximum resting pressure is higher than previously reported. The ability of surgeons to identify this group clinically was poor. It is reasonable to treat all patients primarily medically, and then selectively investigate by manometry those patients who fail medical therapy before considering lateral sphincterotomy.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Rectum During Distension.
Dal Lago A, Minetti AE, Biondetti P, Corsetti M, Basilisco G
Dis Colon Rectum 2005 Mar 24;.

PURPOSE: A knowledge of the relationships between the rectum and its surrounding structures during distention may improve our understanding of the results of studies assessing rectal sensory-motor responses to distention. This magnetic resonance imaging study was designed to assess the shape of the rectum and the degree of distention at which the surrounding structures are compressed. METHODS: Nine healthy patients underwent magnetic resonance imaging of the rectum under resting conditions and after the inflation of a plastic bag to volumes of 50, 100, 150, 200, and 250 ml. The thickness of the rectovesical space was assessed as a measure of the compression of the perirectal structures, and the perception of sensations were recorded. RESULTS: The shape of the rectum changed from being quasicylindrical at distention volumes of <100 ml to bean-shaped at larger volumes. The thickness of the rectovesical space at a distention volume of 50 ml was the same as when the bag was not inflated, but it progressively decreased until the difference became statistically significant at distention volumes of >/=200 ml, corresponding to a mean +/- standard deviation rectal radius of 2.66 +/- 0.37 cm. Statistically significant compression of the rectovesical space was recorded when the sensations of gas, desire to defecate, and urgency were perceived. CONCLUSIONS: The shape of the rectum changes during distention; it significantly compresses the extrarectal structures in the tested range of distention that induces nonpainful sensations. Magnetic resonance imaging is a useful means of assessing the morphologic changes in the rectum during distention.

Colonoscopy in the very old: why bother?
Yoong KK, Heymann T
Postgrad Med J 2005 Mar;81(953):196-7.

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the use of colonoscopy in patients aged at least 85 years. Does the ideal of an ageism free service apply? DESIGN: A retrospective audit. SETTING: Department of gastroenterology that carries out about 1000 colonoscopies annually in a district general hospital serving a population of about 320 000. SUBJECTS: All patients aged at least 85 years who underwent colonoscopy over five years to 2003. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The indications for colonoscopy and its findings. The outcome of patients found to have colonic cancers. RESULTS: Colonoscopy was completed in 219 cases (69%). The main reasons for failure were poor bowel preparation and severe diverticular disease. Normal findings occurred in 65 (30%) of the 219 cases that had had a complete examination. Colonoscopy identified a problem that explained the patient's symptoms in 116 (37%) cases. Polyps were found in 45 (14.2%) cases and malignancy in 28 (8.8%). CONCLUSIONS: The absence of significant complications and comparatively high yield of colonic malignancies and polyps reinforces the value of colonoscopy as a diagnostic tool even after 85 years of age and despite the technical challenges of the procedure in this age group that limited completion. Increasing age alone should not preclude a patient from colonoscopy.

Wireless capsule endoscopy and Crohn's disease.
Swain P
Gut 2005 Mar;54(3):323-6.

Small bowel involvement in Crohn's disease: a prospective comparison of wireless capsule endoscopy and computed tomography enteroclysis.
Voderholzer WA, Beinhoelzl J, Rogalla P, Murrer S, Schachschal G, Lochs H, Ortner MA
Gut 2005 Mar;54(3):369-73.

BACKGROUND: Wireless capsule endoscopy (WCE) offers endoscopic access to the small bowel and may therefore change diagnostic and therapeutic strategies in small bowel diseases. AIM: The aim of this prospective study was to validate the gain in information and therapeutic impact of WCE in patients with Crohn's disease. METHODS: Fifty six consecutive patients with Crohn's disease underwent computed tomography (CT) enteroclysis, and if stenoses <10 mm were excluded, WCE was carried out. RESULTS: In 15 patients (27%), WCE could not be performed due to strictures detected by CT enteroclysis. From the other 41 patients, jejunal or ileal lesions were found in 25 patients by WCE compared with 12 by CT enteroclysis (p=0.004). This gain in information was mainly due to detection of small mucosal lesions such as villous denudation, aphthoid ulcerations, or erosions. Both methods were not significantly different in the detection of lesions in the terminal/neoterminal ileum (WCE 24 patients, CT enteroclysis 20 patients). Therapy was changed due to WCE findings in 10 patients. Consecutively, all of them improved clinically. CONCLUSIONS: Capsule endoscopy improves the diagnosis of small bowel Crohn's disease. This may have significant therapeutic impact.

Functional anorectal imaging.
Bartram CI
Abdom Imaging 2005 Feb 23;.

Endoscopic appearance of serrated adenomas in the colon.
Jaramillo E, Tamura S, Mitomi H
Endoscopy 2005 Mar;37(3):254-60.

Role of pelvicography and colpocystodefecography in diagnosis of outlet obstructive constipation.
Liu BH, Fang SW, Tong WD, Gong SG, Zhang SB
Int J Colorectal Dis 2005 Feb 16;.

AIMS: The aim was to research the changes in pelvic floor morphology and corresponding visceras in patients with outlet obstructive constipation (OOC). PATIENTS AND METHODS: Thirty-eight patients with OOC and 12 healthy volunteers were enrolled in this study. With simultaneous pelvicography and colpocystodefecography (PCCD), including pelvicography, vaginal opacification, voiding cystography and defecography, pelvic floor morphology was observed and the anorectal angle, the level of the perineum, peritoneum and bladder were measured. RESULTS: Thirty-seven cases of internal rectal prolapse (IRP), 5 cases of rectocele (RC) and 5 cases of spastic pelvic floor syndrome SPFS were diagnosed by PCCD. 12 IRP, 4 RC and 1 SPFS were detected by common physical examination. All of these were confirmed by PCCD. Moreover, PCCD found 9 pelvic floor hernia or peritoneoceles, 6 cystoceles, 3 descending perineum syndromes and 10 uterine prolapses. Compared with controls, OOC patients had a significantly large anorectal angle during defecation, abnormal descending of the perineum at rest and during defecation, and a deep pouch of Douglas during defecation. Some patients with urinary system symptoms may have had an abnormal descent of the bladder during rest and defecation. CONCLUSION: Simultaneous PCCD has a higher positive ratio than the common physical examination in diagnosing IRP and RC, and provides information for the diagnosis of pelvic floor hernia or peritoneocele, cystocele or uterine prolapse. PCCD is helpful in the selection of a proper surgical procedure.

Intraoperative ultrasonography: a tool for localizing small colonic polyps.
Greif F, Belenky A, Aranovich D, Yampolski I, Hannanel N
Int J Colorectal Dis 2005 Feb 11;.

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Small colonic polyps are difficult to palpate and thus difficult to localize during surgery. Preoperative injection of dyes and "on-the-table colonoscopy" are some of the methods used to allow the surgeon to find the polyps. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the value of intraoperative ultrasound as a tool that may allow detection of small colonic polyps during surgery. RESULTS: The study population consisted of nine consecutive patients referred to surgery for polyps of the large bowel that were not amenable to endoscopic removal. At surgery, the colon was filled with saline and than scanned by linear ultrasound probe. In 8 out of 9 patients, intraoperative ultrasound successfully detected all polyps, even those smaller than 0.5 cm. In one patient with two polyps, one in the right colon was easily localized, but a second flat, 0.4-cm tubular adenoma at the splenic flexure was missed. In three patients, intraoperative ultrasound showed penetration into the muscular coat. These polyps were found on pathology to be invasive cancer. CONCLUSION: Intraoperative ultrasound makes it possible for surgeons to easily localize small nonpalpable polyps of the large bowel. Furthermore, it can determine the aggressive potential of these lesions with great accuracy.

How Accurate is Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Restaging Rectal Cancer in Patients Receiving Preoperative Combined Chemoradiotherapy?
Chen CC, Lee RC, Lin JK, Wang LW, Yang SH
Dis Colon Rectum 2005 Mar 2;.

PURPOSE: Preoperative combined chemoradiotherapy is currently the main neoadjuvant therapy used to treat locally advanced middle and low rectal adenocarcinoma. A restaging work-up with magnetic resonance imaging was hoped to provide information about the effects related to combined chemoradiotherapy. The goal was to evaluate the correlation between pathologically verified tumor stages and clinical stages predicted by magnetic resonance imaging after combined chemoradiotherapy. METHODS: Between August 2000 and June 2003, 50 patients with biopsy-proven middle and lower rectal adenocarcinoma, with initial stage T3-T4 or N+, M0, were recruited in this series. Pelvic magnetic resonance imaging was used to stage the tumor before and after combined chemoradiotherapy. A protocol of the standard external radiation dose and oral combined uracil and 5-fluorouracil plus leucovorin was used. The results of magnetic resonance imaging restaging after combined chemoradiotherapy were correlated with the pathologic staging. RESULTS: The overall predictive accuracy in T stage was 52 percent, whereas overstaging and understaging occurred in 38 percent and 10 percent of patients, respectively. Most of the inaccurate T staging was a result of the overstaging of superficial tumors (T0-T2). In N stage, accurate staging was noted in 68 percent of all patients, whereas 24 percent were overstaged and 8 percent were understaged. CONCLUSION: In restaging irradiated tumors, magnetic resonance imaging had the accuracy of 52 percent in T stage and 68 percent in N stage. Poor agreement between post-combined chemoradiotherapy magnetic resonance imaging and pathologic staging was observed in both T (k = 0.017) and N (k = 0.031) stages. Most of the inaccuracy in both T and N stages was caused by overstaging. The problem with magnetic resonance imaging was believed to be that it could not completely differentiate fibrosis from viable residual tumors.

Imaging inflammatory bowel disease using bowel ultrasound.
Parente F, Greco S, Molteni M, Anderloni A, Porro GB
Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol 2005 Mar;17(3):283-91.

During the last two decades the general availability of high resolution ultrasound has greatly improved the diagnostic potential of ultrasound in the assessment of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). This technique has proved to be useful as a screening imaging modality in patients with symptoms or clinical signs that strongly indicate an inflammatory bowel disorder as well as for assessing the anatomical extension of Crohn's disease (CD) lesions at primary diagnosis. Another important indication is the follow-up of patients who are already known to have CD. Here, the technique may play a key role in the detection of luminal and mesentery complications or for the evaluation of disease extension during a clinical flare-up of both CD and ulcerative colitis. By contrast, the role of bowel ultrasound in the assessment of disease activity is limited so far, even though colour Doppler flow imaging may, perhaps, help to differentiate inflammatory from fibrotic intestinal strictures. New ultrasound technologies, such as those using oral and intravenous contrast agents, will probably further increase the diagnostic capability of ultrasound in this context, thus radically changing the diagnostic approach to IBD in the near future.

Radiographic findings of post-operative double stapled trans anal rectal resection (STARR) in patient with obstructed defecation syndrome (ODS).
Grassi R, Romano S, Micera O, Fioroni C, Boller B
Eur J Radiol 2005 Mar;53(3):410-6.

Longo's procedure of double stapled trans anal rectal resection (STARR) has been evocated as surgical treatment of the obstructed defecation syndrome (ODS) in patients with rectal mucosal prolapse. The aim of this study was to investigate the post-interventional findings of this technique, to help radiologist in knowledge of the changed morphology of the rectal lumen, also in attempt to recognize some potential related complications.

Post colon surgery complications: imaging findings.
Scardapane A, Brindicci D, Fracella MR, Angelelli G
Eur J Radiol 2005 Mar;53(3):397-409.

Several standardized types of colonic resections are available in the clinical practice. All of them may produce early and late complications. Diagnostic imaging plays a pivotal role in the recognition of post-operative colorectal complications and provides fundamental information for therapeutic planning. In this paper we review the imaging findings of early and late post-operative complications of colorectal surgery.

Volume Measurements of the Anal Sphincter Complex in Healthy Controls and Fecal-Incontinent Patients With a Three-Dimensional Reconstruction of Endoanal Ultrasonography Images.
West RL, Felt-Bersma RJ, Hansen BE, Schouten WR, Kuipers EJ
Dis Colon Rectum 2005 Feb 23;.

OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to determine sphincter volume, length, and external anal sphincter thickness in healthy controls and fecal incontinent patients by use of a three-dimensional reconstruction of endoanal ultrasonography images. METHODS: Forty-four controls (15 males, 15 females, and 14 parous females) and 28 incontinent parous females (with and without a sphincter defect) were studied. Internal anal sphincter, external anal sphincter and puborectalis volume, sphincter length, and external anal sphincter thickness were measured. Intraobserver and interobserver variability were assessed. Anal pressure profile was also determined. RESULTS: Internal anal sphincter and external anal sphincter volumes were larger in males than in females (P = 0.001 and P = 0.04), and external anal sphincter volume was smaller in parous females but this was not significant (P = 0.084). Anterior sphincter length was longer in males (P = 0.004) and shorter in parous females (P = 0.06). Males had a larger anterior external anal sphincter thickness (P = 0.018); parity made no difference. Sphincter volumes were not smaller in incontinent females. Incontinent females with a sphincter defect had a shorter anterior sphincter length than that of continent (P = 0.001) and incontinent females without a sphincter defect (P < 0.001). Anterior external anal sphincter thickness was smaller in incontinent females with a sphincter defect (P = 0.006), and posterior and right external anal sphincter thickness was smaller in incontinent females without a sphincter defect (P = 0.02 and P = 0.03). Intraobserver variability was seen for internal anal sphincter volume and sphincter length, but there was no interobserver variability. Correlation between anal pressures and endoanal ultrasonography measurements was poor. CONCLUSIONS: Differences in anal sphincter volumes are seen for gender but not for parity. Fecal incontinence is not associated with loss of sphincter volume. However, anterior sphincter length and external anal sphincter thickness are smaller.

Relationship of colonoscopy completion rates and endoscopist features.
Harewood GC
Dig Dis Sci 2005 Jan;50(1):47-51.

The success rate for reaching the cecum has been widely discussed as an indicator of technical expertise for colonoscopy. However, few studies have addressed the impact of endoscopist-specific parameters on cecal intubation rates. The aim of this study was to characterize the relationship between endoscopist-specific parameters (age, gender, experience level, annual procedure volume, insertion and withdrawal times) and cecal intubation rates for colonoscopy. Procedural data from all colonoscopies performed by gastroenterologists at the outpatient endoscopy unit of Rochester Methodist Hospital, Minnesota, between January and December 2003 were reviewed. Procedural data of 45 endoscopists who performed 17,100 colonoscopies over the study period were analyzed. The average cecal intubation rate was 93.9% (SD, 2.9%). Higher experience level (>9 years [median]) was significantly predictive of a cecal intubation rate >94% (OR = 3.43; 95% CI, 1.03-12.29; P = 0.04). Although higher procedure volume was not predictive of higher colonoscopy completion rates overall, when analysis was confined to the junior faculty members (<5 years' experience), completion rates for those endoscopists doing >200 per year (92.5%) was significantly higher than for those doing <200 per year (88.5%; P = 0.04). Our observations suggest that cecal intubation rates increase with increasing endoscopist experience. Moreover, among junior endoscopists, an annual volume of at least 200 procedures appears to be required to maintain adequate competence. Future prospective studies should provide data to support consensus guidelines recommending minimum annual procedure numbers required for maintenance of endoscopic competence among trained endoscopists.

Three Challenges: Propofol, Colonoscopy by Undertrained Physicians, and CT Colonography.
Rex DK
Am J Gastroenterol 2005 Mar;100(3):510-3.

Small cell carcinoma of the colon: barium study and CT findings.
Kim HC, Park SI, Park SJ, Shin HC, Oh MH, Kim HH, Bae WK, Kim IY
Br J Radiol 2005 Mar;78(927):255-256.

Extrapulmonary small cell carcinoma is a rare neoplasm. It is an aggressive malignant tumour characterized by rapid local progression and early metastasis. We report a case of small cell carcinoma arising in the transverse colon in a 34-year-old man who presented with epigastric pain. On CT, a poorly enhancing bulky mass encircling the transverse colon with extensive regional lymph node metastases was observed. A segmental annular narrowing with thick interhaustral folds of the transverse colon was found by barium enema examination. This is the first report of barium study and CT findings of extrapulmonary small cell carcinoma of the colon.

Techniques and trouble-shooting in high spatial resolution thin slice MRI for rectal cancer.
Brown G, Daniels IR, Richardson C, Revell P, Peppercorn D, Bourne M
Br J Radiol 2005 Mar;78(927):245-251.

MRI is increasingly advocated as an optimal method of staging rectal cancer. The technique enables depiction of the relationship of tumour to the mesorectal fascia and may thus identify tumours at risk of positive circumferential margin involvement at surgery. Depth of extramural spread may also be accurately measured and tumour deposits within the mesorectum are shown. It is important that a high spatial resolution technique is used in order to accurately depict these features and care should be taken in ensuring that images acquired cover the entire rectal tumour and mesorectum. This paper describes the technique of high spatial resolution rectal cancer imaging and the potential technical pitfalls in acquiring good quality images. Important factors to consider include: adequate scan duration to achieve high spatial resolution images with sufficient signal to noise ratio, careful positioning of the pelvic phased array coil, use of T(2) weighted turbo spin-echo rather than T(1) weighted imaging and careful planning of scans to ensure that images are obtained perpendicular to the rectal wall.

MR colonography: baseline appearance of the unprepared rectosigmoid.
Jardine VL, Sala E, Lomas DJ
Br J Radiol 2005 Mar;78(927):202-6.

A retrospective review of 100 routine pelvic MR examinations was conducted to evaluate the appearance of the unprepared rectosigmoid colon, with the aim of informing future strategies for minimal preparation MR colonography. All examinations were reviewed by two observers in consensus, and included matched-location axial T(1) weighted and T(2) weighted fat suppressed fast spin echo (FSFSE) images. Analysis revealed that the overall appearance of the faecal material in the colon could simulate tumour in 80% of T(1) weighted and 17% of T(2) weighted images. By matching the images from the two sequences for each patient the faeces had an overall appearance that would mimic tumour in only 7% of cases. However, luminal tumour-mimicking foci of signal occurred frequently, present in 91% of T(1) weighted and 85% of T(2) weighted studies. The results indicate that if bowel-cleansing regimens are to be avoided for MR colonography, effective strategies such as dietary restriction and use of oral contrast agents will be required to reduce luminal signal on T(2) weighting and eliminate polyp-mimicking foci. The results also suggest that T(2) weighted strategies should be further investigated and that combination with T(1) weighted imaging may improve discrimination of lesions from normal faecal material.

Small-bowel barium follow-through is rarely required in patients with a normal ileoscopy and terminal ileal biopsy and a normal or unremarkable colonoscopy.
Soon SY, Ansari A, Sanderson JD
Scand J Gastroenterol 2004 Dec;39(12):1293-5.

BACKGROUND: There is an increase of reliance on ileoscopy in preference to small-bowel barium follow-through in the diagnosis of terminal ileal Crohn disease. In this study the role of small-bowel barium follow-through after a normal or unremarkable ileocolonoscopy was investigated. METHODS: A retrospective analysis of all patients who had a colonoscopy followed by a small-bowel barium follow-through over a 7-year period was performed. Patients with a previously established diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease and those who had colonoscopic evidence of inflammatory bowel disease were excluded. RESULTS: Of the 96 patients who had a normal ileoscopy and normal or unremarkable colonoscopy, 3 had abnormalities detected at small-bowel barium follow-through. Two patients had abnormal terminal ileal biopsies, although the terminal ileum appeared macroscopically normal. The small-bowel barium follow-through helped to establish the diagnosis of Crohn disease. The other patient presented changes consistent with a previously established diagnosis. Of the 47 patients who had a normal or unremarkable total colonoscopy without ileoscopy, I had abnormalities detected at small-bowel barium follow-through consistent with a previously established diagnosis. CONCLUSIONS: Small-bowel barium follow-through is rarely required in patients who have had a normal ileoscopy and terminal ileum biopsy and a normal or unremarkable colonoscopy. It should only be performed if there is a very high index of suspicion of small-bowel pathology. In patients with suspected Crohn disease, it is important to take terminal ileum biopsies even if the ileum appears macroscopically normal at ileoscopy.

Assessing Tumor Perfusion and Treatment Response in Rectal Cancer with Multisection CT: Initial Observations.
Sahani DV, Kalva SP, Hamberg LM, Hahn PF, Willett CG, Saini S, Mueller PR, Lee TY
Radiology 2005 Mar;234(3):785-92.

PURPOSE: To use first-pass perfusion computed tomography (CT) to prospectively investigate tumor vascularity in rectal cancer and to determine whether any of the perfusion parameters would predict tumor response to chemotherapy and radiation therapy. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The institutional review board approved this study, and informed prior consent was obtained from participants. Perfusion CT of rectal cancer was performed with four-section multi-detector row CT in 15 patients (13 men, two women; mean age, 62.1 years; age range, 46-84 years). Five patients with prostate cancer served as controls. All patients with rectal cancer underwent 6-8 weeks of chemotherapy and radiation therapy followed by surgery. In nine patients, perfusion CT was repeated after completion of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Contrast medium-enhanced dynamic CT was performed with a static table position for 45 seconds, and the data were analyzed by using commercial software to calculate tissue blood flow (BF), blood volume, mean transit time (MTT), and vascular permeability-surface area product. Perfusion parameters of normal rectum and tumor were compared. Perfusion parameters before and after chemotherapy and radiation therapy were compared. A tumor was considered to have responded if its stage at pathologic analysis indicated regression compared with the preoperative stage. Baseline perfusion values were compared between responders and nonresponders. Statistical analysis was performed with the Student t test. RESULTS: Rectal cancer showed higher BF and shorter MTT compared with those of normal rectum (P </= .05). After chemotherapy and radiation therapy, tumors showed significant reduction in BF and increase in MTT (P </= .05). There was a significant difference in baseline BF and MTT values between responders and nonresponders (P </= .05). Tumors in three patients with high initial BF and short MTT showed poor response. CONCLUSION: Perfusion CT of rectal cancer can enable assessment of tumor vascularity and perfusion changes that result from chemotherapy and radiation therapy. In this small patient sample, tumors with initial high BF and short MTT values tended to respond poorly to chemotherapy and radiation therapy. (c) RSNA, 2005.

Endosonography of the anal sphincter in women of different ages and parity.
Starck M, Bohe M, Fortling B, Valentin L
Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol 2005 Feb;25(2):169-76.

OBJECTIVES: To obtain reference data representative of normal findings at anal endosonography in pregnant and non-pregnant women. To determine intraobserver and interobserver agreement in the detection of endosonographic anal sphincter defects in asymptomatic women. METHODS: Twenty-five non-pregnant nulliparous women and 25 non-pregnant parous women (age range, 20-67 years) and 47 pregnant women (age range, 21-39 years) underwent anal manometry and anal endosonography. The endosonographic internal and external sphincter thickness and sphincter length were measured online. Endosonographic sphincter defects were measured and classified offline from videotapes by two independent examiners using an endosonographic defect score ranging from 0 (no defect) to 16 (maximal defect), the score taking into account the location and the longitudinal and circumferential extension of the defect. RESULTS: Endosonographic sphincter thickness and length did not differ between non-pregnant nulliparous and parous women and did not change substantially with age. The anal sphincter was thicker and the anal resting pressure area and manometric sphincter length were greater in pregnant than in non-pregnant women of the same age (20-39 years). There was good intra- and interobserver agreement with regard to detection of endosonographic anal sphincter defects (kappa >/= 0.70). Eighteen (19%) women had endosonographic sphincter defects but in only four (4%; 4/97) cases were they moderate or large (defect score, 7-10). Ten (20%) of the non-pregnant women reported minor gas incontinence and one reported minor incontinence for both gas and liquid stool. The frequency of incontinence did not differ between women with and without sphincter defects. CONCLUSIONS: Reference data representative of normal findings at anal endosonography have been established for non-pregnant women and for nulliparous women in the third trimester of pregnancy. Small endosonographic sphincter defects and minor gas incontinence are common in women without known sphincter trauma. They seem to be unrelated to each other and may be regarded as normal variants. Copyright.