The team assessed the usefulness of variable-stiffness video colonoscopes, compared with conventional videoscopes, and reported their findings in January's Endoscopy.
The researchers used two prototypes of variable-stiffness video colonoscopes - the XCF-QAY1 and the XCF-Q240AI. Both can be varied to four levels of stiffness of tube insertion during examination.
352 consecutive colonoscopic examinations were performed, using these and two conventional scopes.
The variable-stiffness video colonoscope, XCF-Q240AI, offers a degree of benefit over conventional videoscopes
Data recorded included time for intubation to the cecum, frequency of changes in the patients' posture, frequency of abdominal pressure attempts, and pain score.
The degree of stiffness of the insertion tube and the examiners' impressions score were recorded only in procedures where the variable-stiffness scopes were used.
The researchers found that there was no significant difference between colonoscopes in the pain score.
Total colonoscopy rate was 97.4%. The frequency of usage of the varying stiffness control in the colon differed according to the site investigated. Usage in the descending colon was 57.3% and in the transverse colon, 32.8%. For the sigmoid colon and ascending colon, the frequencies were 7.6% and 2.3%, respectively.
A significant reduction in the mean time for intubation to the cecum was observed for the XCF-Q240AI, compared to conventional scopes. Moreover, there were significant reductions in the frequency of abdominal pressure attempts and changes in the patient's posture between conventional scopes and the new scopes.
From the study researcher T. Odori, of the Nagoya University School of Medicine, concluded, "These results suggest that only one scope, the XCF-Q240AI, is needed for any colonic examination by any examiner."