Background: Colorectal adenoma prevalence can be determined by autopsy studies, or imaging studies such as colonoscopy. We describe the prevalence of colorectal adenomas determined by a single high detecting colonoscopist using high definition colonoscopes. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study of consecutive patients aged ≥18 years undergoing colonoscopy with a high level detector for the indications of screening, surveillance, and diagnostic reasons from December 29, 2016 to January 12, 2018. Results: During the study period, 1172 eligible patients underwent colonoscopy. Women comprised 55% (n = 646) and the majority (89%, n = 1038) were aged ≥50 years (mean age, 62.1 years). In persons aged ≥50 years undergoing screening, the prevalence of ≥1 conventional adenoma was 48.5% and ≥1 sessile serrated polyp was 15.3%. Diminutive polyps (1–5 mm in size) comprised three-quarters of all resected polyps (2236/2986). Among 246 patients (21%), 1050 hyperplastic appearing polyps were not resected from the recto-sigmoid. Adenoma prevalence was strongly associated with age and indication but serrated lesion prevalence was not. Conclusions: The true prevalence of precancerous lesions in the colorectum determined by modern colonoscopy exceeds determination by autopsy studies. These data help define aspirational detection targets for colonoscopy. The economic burden associated with colonoscopic resection of tiny lesions is substantial.
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