Derivation and validation of a scoring system to stratify risk for advanced colorectal neoplasia in asymptomatic adults a cross-sectional study

Thomas F. Imperiale, Patrick O. Monahan, Timothy E. Stump, Elizabeth A. Glowinski, David F. Ransohoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Background: Several methods are recommended equally strongly for colorectal cancer screening in average-risk persons. Risk stratification would enable tailoring of screening within this group, with less invasive tests (sigmoidoscopy or occult blood tests) for lower-risk persons and colonoscopy for higher-risk persons. Objective: To create a risk index for advanced neoplasia (colorectal cancer and adenomas or serrated polyps ≥1.0 cm, villous histology, or high-grade dysplasia) anywhere in the colorectum, using the most common risk factors for colorectal neoplasia. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Multiple endoscopy units, primarily in the Midwest. Patients: Persons aged 50 to 80 years undergoing initial screening colonoscopy (December 2004 to September 2011). Measurements: Derivation and validation of a risk index based on points from regression coefficients for age, sex, waist circumference, cigarette smoking, and family history of colorectal cancer. Results: Among 2993 persons in the derivation set, prevalence of advanced neoplasia was 9.4%. Risks for advanced neoplasia in persons at very low, low, intermediate, and high risk were 1.92% (95% CI, 0.63% to 4.43%), 4.88% (CI, 3.79% to 6.18%), 9.93% (CI, 8.09% to 12.0%), and 24.9% (CI, 21.1% to 29.1%), respectively (P < 0.001). Sigmoidoscopy to the descending colon in the lowrisk groups would have detected 51 of 70 (73% [CI, 61% to 83%]) advanced neoplasms. Among 1467 persons in the validation set, corresponding risks for advanced neoplasia were 1.65% (CI, 0.20% to 5.84%), 3.31% (CI, 2.08% to 4.97%), 10.9% (CI, 8.26% to 14.1%), and 22.3% (CI, 16.9% to 28.5%), respectively (P < 0.001). Sigmoidoscopy would have detected 21 of 24 (87.5% [CI, 68% to 97%]) advanced neoplasms. Limitations: Split-sample validation; results apply to first-time screening. Conclusion: This index stratifies risk for advanced neoplasia among average-risk persons by identifying lower-risk groups for which noncolonoscopy strategies may be effective and efficient and a higher-risk group for which colonoscopy may be preferred.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)339-346
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of internal medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine

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