The benefits of AI-assisted colonoscopies

May 31, 2022

As reported by NYU Langone Health, colonoscopies performed with computer-aided detection, or artificial intelligence (AI), saw an increase in the overall rate of detection of adenoma, or cancerous and precancerous polyps, by 27% in average-risk patients, according to data presented at the Digestive Disease Week Annual Meeting.

The results of the prospective, randomized, multicenter study, led by clinician–scientist Aasma Shaukat, MD, MPH, at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, and published in the journal Gastroenterology, found that when AI was used during a screening colonoscopy, the adenoma per colonoscopy rate increased significantly by 22%, from 0.82 to 1.05%.

This research further suggests that AI can be an efficient tool for gastroenterologists and endoscopists to incorporate into their procedures to reduce the number of polyps missed and left behind in the colon, many of which can be precancerous.

“Our findings add to the growing amount of literature that shows using computer-aided technology during an endoscopy procedure can improve the quality of exams performed and improve outcomes for our patients,” says Shaukat, the Robert M. and Mary H. Glickman Professor of Medicine and Gastroenterology and Director of Outcomes Research for the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. “Several software technologies are currently available for clinicians, and incorporating the use of these resources will only enhance the care we provide our patients and improve the quality of exams we as physicians are able to perform.”

For the study, 22 skilled, board-certified gastroenterologists performed colonoscopies for 1,440 patients from January 2021 to September 2021. Patients were randomized to receive either a standard colonoscopy or a colonoscopy using computer-aided detection software. All patients included in the study were over the age of 40 and having a screening or surveillance colonoscopy but had not had a previous colonoscopy within the last 3 years. Of the total number of patients, 677 were randomized to the standard arm and 682 to the computer-aided arm. The number of polyps found using a computer-aided colonoscope was 1.05 compared to 0.82. There was no decrease in the true histology rate, indicating the polyps of concern were all removed. “Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, and it is one of the few cancers that can be prevented if caught early,” says Shaukat. “Our mission remains to improve and enhance the quality and efficacy of the colonoscopy across the board to provide the best care for patients.”

NYU Langone Health release

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