Adenoma Detection Rate in Asymptomatic Patients with Positive Fecal Immunochemical Tests

Eugene Kligman, Wenfang Li, George J. Eckert, Charles Kahi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


Background and Aims: The adenoma detection rate (ADR) is a powerful measure of screening colonoscopy quality. Patients who undergo colonoscopy for the evaluation of a positive fecal immunochemical test (FIT) have increased prevalence of colorectal neoplasia, but it is not known whether separate quality benchmarks are required. The aim of this study was to compare the conventional ADR to the ADR of colonoscopies performed for the evaluation of positive FIT, in asymptomatic average-risk patients. Methods: Patients ≥ 50 years old who underwent colonoscopy for the evaluation of a positive FIT between January 1, 2013, and July 31, 2014, at a tertiary Veterans Affairs Medical Center were identified. FIT performed for any indication other than average-risk screening was excluded. The comparison group included average-risk patients ≥ 50 years old undergoing screening colonoscopy during the same time frame. The two groups were compared for ADR, advanced neoplasm [adenoma ≥ 10 mm, tubulovillous, high-grade dysplasia, CRC, sessile serrated polyp (SSP) ≥ 10 mm], CRC, and SSP detection after propensity score adjustment using a logistic regression model adjusted for endoscopist. Results: There were 207 patients in the FIT group and 601 in the screening colonoscopy comparison group. After propensity score adjustment, ADR (72.9 vs. 50.0%, p = 0.003), number of adenomas per colonoscopy (3.3 ± 3.6 vs. 1.4 ± 2.3, p = 0.033), and advanced neoplasm detection rate (32.4 vs. 11.0%, p < 0.0001) were significantly higher in the FIT group. There were no significant differences in the number of CRC and the SSP detection rate. Conclusions: In this cohort of average-risk Veterans, the ADR of colonoscopies performed for the evaluation of a positive FIT was higher than the ADR of screening colonoscopies. Patients with a positive FIT also had significantly more adenomas per colonoscopy and advanced neoplasms. These findings suggest that the quality of colonoscopies performed for a positive FIT is insufficiently assessed by the conventional ADR and requires additional quality metrics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1167-1172
Number of pages6
JournalDigestive diseases and sciences
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2018



  • Colon neoplasm
  • Colonoscopy
  • Screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Gastroenterology

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