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Study - More Polyps Found During Deep Sleep

Posted by Chrissie Cole
Tuesday, June 02, 2009 10:42 AM EST
Category: Major Medical
Tags: FDA and Prescription Drugs, Colon Cancer, Colonoscopy, Protecting Your Family


IMAGE SOURCE: © iStockPhoto / colon cancer / author: Eraxion

New research suggests deep sedation, rather than moderate sedation, allows more colon polyps to be found during a colonoscopy.

The research will be presented this week at Digestive Disease Week 2009 in Chicago.

A colonoscopy exam involves inserting a tube into the rectum to check for potentially cancerous growths such as polyps, and areas of inflammation or bleeding. Polyps are clumps of cells that form on the colon lining that have the potential to eventually become cancerous.

During the procedure, the doctor removes any precancerous growths and takes a biopsy (tissue sample) to prevent the development of cancer. Screening can detect colon cancer in its early stages when there is a good chance for cure.

In the study, researchers found patients placed under deep sedation resulted in the detection of more polyps. The reason could be that during deep sleep sedation, patients are more relaxed which allows physicians to focus on polyp detection, researchers said.

For the study, researchers looked at a database of endoscopy reports from more than 100,000 patients across the U.S. that were either deeply sedated or given moderate conscious sedation.

They found that 25 percent more polyps were detected in patients under deep sedation. They also found larger polyps which have a greater likelihood of becoming cancerous compared to smaller ones.

“We can’t say if these polyps would have been found if the patients were examined under moderate sedation,” said study author Dr. Katherine M. Hoda, M.D., of the Oregon Health & Science University in Portland. “Our study suggests deep sedation finds more polyps, which can impact the way physicians conduct colonoscopies.”

But, the study only involved a small number of patients, so more research is needed before we can say for sure that deep sedation is the best method, Hoda said.

The study findings could have lifesaving benefits by helping doctors to detect colon cancer in its earliest, most treatable stage.

The American Cancer Society ranks colorectal cancer second in the U.S., and projects 49,290 deaths in 2009 and more than 106,000 cases.

In another study, researchers found computed tomographic (CT) colonography, also known as virtual colonoscopy, has a high accuracy in detecting precancerous and cancerous polyps. #

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