CT and MR colography (Virtual colonoscopy): Status report

Douglas K. Rex

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

17 Scopus citations


Computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance (MR) colography (virtual colonoscopy) are new techniques being developed for the purpose of imaging colorectal polyps and cancer. Limited data are available regarding the performance characteristics of either technique, particularly MR. Initial reports suggest that the sensitivity of CT and MR colography for patients with adenomas ≥ 1 cm ranges from 75-90%, and decreases precipitously for smaller polyps. Very early data suggest that the specificity for patient with large adenomas is around 90%, but for patients with adenomas in the 5-9 mm range has been as low as 65%. This review discusses currently available published and abstracted data on CT and MR colography and discusses the real and potential advantages and disadvantages of CT and MR colography compared to current colonic imaging methods. The review discusses problems that must be overcome in order for CT or MR colography to be demonstrated as practical tests, and suggests guidelines for the performance of clinical trials testing the performance characteristics of these methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-203
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Gastroenterology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 1 1998


  • Colorectal cancer
  • Colorectal polyps
  • Computed tomography
  • Magnetic resonance image
  • Virtual colonoscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology

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