Screening colonoscopy examinations for colorectal cancer are offered in the United States and some European countries.
Data on results and adverse effects of screening colonoscopy are limited.
In autumn 2002, colonoscopy was introduced as part of a nationwide cancer screening program in Germany.
It was offered to the general population for individuals 55 years of age or older.
Dr Christian Pox and colleagues from Germany collected and analyzed data from this program.
|The adenoma detection rate was 19%|
The researchers performed a prospective cross-sectional study, collecting results from 2,821,392 screening colonoscopies performed at more than 2100 practices by highly qualified endoscopists in Germany from 2003 to 2008.
Data on participation, colorectal adenoma and cancer detection, and complications were collected using standardized documentation forms.
The data generated were centrally processed and evaluated.
The cumulative participation rate was 17% of eligible women, and 16% of eligible men 55–74 years old.
The researchers found that the adenoma detection rate was 19%, with a higher rate in men.
Advanced adenomas were found in 6% of patients.
Carcinomas were detected in 25,893 subjects.
The research team found that most were of an early UICC stage.
The researchers noted that ADRs for gastroenterologists and nongastroenterologists were 25% and 22%, respectively.
The overall complication rate was 2.8/1000 colonoscopies, and the rate of serious complications was 0.6 per 1000 colonoscopies.
Dr Pox's team commented, "A nationwide colonoscopy screening program that uses highly qualified endoscopists can detect a significant number of adenomas and early-stage carcinomas."
"The adenoma detection rate for gastroenterologists was higher than for nongastroenterologists."