CT colonography for population screening of colorectal cancer: Hints from European trials

Lapo Sali, Daniele Regge

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


CT colonography (CTC) is a minimally invasive radiological investigation of the colon. Robust evidence indicates that CTC is safe, well tolerated and highly accurate for the detection of colorectal cancer (CRC) and large polyps, which are the targets of screening. Randomized controlled trials were carried out in Europe to evaluate CTC as the primary test for population screening of CRC in comparison with faecal immunochemical test (FIT), sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy. Main outcomes were participation rate and detection rate. Participation rate for screening CTC was in the range of 25-34%, whereas the detection rate of CTC for CRC and advanced adenoma was in the range of 5.1-6.1%. Participation for CTC screening was lower than that for FIT, similar to that for sigmoidoscopy and higher than that for colonoscopy. The detection rate of CTC was higher than that of one FIT round, similar to that of sigmoidoscopy and lower than that of colonoscopy. However, owing to the higher participation rate in CTC screening with respect to colonoscopy screening, the detection rates per invitee of CTC and colonoscopy would be comparable. These results justify consideration of CTC in organized screening programmes for CRC. However, assessment of other factors such as polyp size threshold for colonoscopy referral, management of extracolonic findings and, most importantly, the forthcoming results of costeffectiveness analyses are crucial to define the role of CTC in primary screening.

Original languageEnglish
Article number0517
JournalBritish Journal of Radiology
Issue number1068
Publication statusPublished - 2016


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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