OBJECTIVES: The cecal intubation rate (CIR) is one of the 3 priority indicators for quality in colonoscopy. Whether continuous measurement of CIR is useful in high performers is uncertain. METHODS: At an academic center, we identified 16 physicians who performed at least 50 procedures over 6 consecutive years. We analyzed all colonoscopy procedures excluding those with poor/inadequate preparation or severe colitis for CIR trend over the years. We calculated the numbers needed to establish CIR over minimum threshold levels with 95% confidence. RESULTS: The overall CIR was 99.4%. None of the 16 physicians had a CIR <96.6% in any year. Sensitivity analyses including patients without intent to reach the cecum and inadequate bowel preparation had little impact on the results. Overall cecal photo documentation rate was 98.4%. No significant correlation was observed between procedure volume at our center and CIR (σ = -0.196, P = 0.483). Physicians with CIR ≥99% need to have only 24 examinations reviewed to establish CIR is >95%. DISCUSSION: Continuous measurement of CIR, at least in high performers, appears to be of limited value. Very high performers need to evaluate small number of cases to demonstrate that CIR is above the recommended thresholds.
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