A team from the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, England, retrospectively determined the sensitivity and specificity of the double contrast barium enema (DCBE) for the detection of colorectal carcinoma.
A total of 880 barium enema reports of consecutive adult patients who underwent DCBE were reviewed. In addition, all had hospital case notes with a minimum follow up of 2 years, a later diagnostic colonoscopy, or operative and histologic findings.
Of those reviewed, 74 true positive cases of colorectal carcinoma diagnosed at DCBE were confirmed at surgery and histological examination.
|Double contrast barium enema for colorectal cancer detection:|
| Clinical Radiology |
There were 4 false positive diagnoses of carcinoma at DCBE.
Eight false negative cases at DCBE were demonstrated within a 2-year follow-up period.
The researchers found that the sensitivity of the DCBE for detecting colorectal carcinoma was therefore 90.2%, and the specificity was 99.5%.
Daniel J. A. Connolly, of the Department of Radiology at the John Radcliffe Hospital, concluded on behalf of his colleagues, "DCBE is a sensitive and highly specific investigation for the detection of colorectal carcinoma."