CT of the bowel or colonoscopy: which is better?


Most patients upon receipt of referral for a colonoscopy ask the question about whether it is possible to check the intestines alternative method. Modern medicine has stepped far forward, and allows you to detect many diseases with the help of other methods – for example, having a CT scan of the intestine, or virtual colonoscopy. Each method has its indications and contraindications, in order to determine which diagnostic method is better we need to see each method in more detail.

Computed tomography of bowel or virtual colonography?

The opening of the CT method, or virtual colonoscopy, has become a real salvation for patients forced to undergo regular medical examinations of the intestine. Fear of pain and discomfort, many patients have until recently delayed a colonoscopy, thus triggering his illness, therefore significantly increased mortality from colon cancer – he ranks third in prevalence among malignant tumors.

The advantages and disadvantages of colonoscopy

Despite the unpleasantness of the procedure, colonoscopy has advantages over virtual colonography:

  • Helps the doctor in more detail to assess the condition of the inner walls of the intestine.
  • Allows to identify and to explore the sites of inflammation, are not fixed virtual colonography.
  • In case of pathological formations, the doctor is able to biopsy for detailed analysis.
  • Gives the opportunity for immediate removal of polyps of the intestine.
  • A small number of contraindications.

Cons colonoscopy:

  • There is a possibility of damage to the intestinal wall, up to the perforation.
  • During the procedure under anesthesia – the risks associated with anesthesia.
  • The feeling of not passing swelling after the procedure.
  • In rare cases may develop bleeding.
  • Low-grade fever and abdominal pain after the removal of polyps.
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What distinguishes the methodology of the CT colonography from a colonoscopy?

Preparation for both methods is considered to be the same – before the examination the patient must fully liberate your intestine from feces, and do not take food that cause flatulence. Intestinal cleansing in most cases is carried out using special preparations, such as «Fortrans» in the medicine dissolved in water with the rate of 1 liter per 20 kg. the Drug has a rather unpleasant taste, so you can split the 2 times.

Virtual colonography is performed as follows: the patient undresses from the waist and falls on the couch on his side. Specialist enters into the anus of a small tube, through which under a slight pressure in the intestine is pumped carbon dioxide. This is necessary for straightening the bowel loops and better visualization of structural features of the mucous membrane. Then the patient with a full gut on the couch goes in the scanner is scanning in two positions – on the back and the side. The survey takes only a few minutes, while the patient may feel only mild discomfort.

During colonoscopy, the patient also lies on her side on a special couch. The anus inserted a probe at the end of which is a video camera, the locking process of the study. The doctor gently advances the endoscope through the intestines, while simultaneously watching the image on the monitor. As bowel loops in some cases, quite bent, a specialist in conjunction with the assistant controls the probe movement with palpation of the abdominal wall. The average survey takes 20-30 minutes and causes the patient considerable discomfort.

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Which method is better?

Which method is better-colonography or virtual colonoscopy? Doctors claim that colonoscopy is more informative method in the presence of pathologies associated with the inner wall of the intestine. The choice of a technique always depends on the indication, the presence of clinical symptoms and goals, which the doctor wants to achieve.

To clarify the location and extent of tumors is best done virtual colonography and to determine the malignancy of tumors, colonoscopy, as soon as it gives the opportunity to take the material for histological examination. It is very important when choosing a method of diagnosis to take into account all contra-indications – it is possible that the specialist has reason for holding a particular type of survey. The solution always makes the attending physician, even when opting for a colonoscopy — you should not ignore the procedure, it can lead to tragic consequences.