OBJECTIVE: Polyps are missed during conventional colonoscopy, even with meticulous technique. The aim of this study was to investigate whether a prototype wide angle colonoscope is associated with a reduced miss rate for polyps. METHODS: Two studies were performed. In study 1, a total of 50 patients underwent back-to-back, same-day colonoscopy by a single examiner with the prototype wide angle colonoscope and with a standard colonoscope, with the order of scopes randomized. In study 1, an attempt was made to keep examination time with the two colonoscopes equal. In study 2, a total of 20 patients were examined, 10 by the same colonoscopist who performed study 1 and 10 by a second colonoscopist. In study 2, examiners tried to perform the examinations as quickly as accuracy would allow. RESULTS: In study 1, the miss rate for all polyps was lower with the wide angle colonoscope (20% vs 31%; p = 0.046), although the mean examination time with the wide angle instrument was shorter (6.75 min vs 7.64 min; p = 0.0005). There was no significant difference in detection of adenomas. Polyps, including adenomas, were missed in the peripheral endoscopic field more frequently with the standard colonoscope. In study 2, wide angle colonoscopy was associated with reductions in examination time of 25% and 30% for the two examiners, respectively. Miss rates were the same for one colonoscopist but were higher for the other colonoscopist when the wide angle instrument was used. CONCLUSION: A prototype wide angle colonoscope did not eliminate polyp miss rates. Wide angle colonoscopy has the potential to reduce examination time and improve visualization of the periphery of the endoscopic field of view, but improvements in resolution are needed.
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