Does Patient Population Affect Extracolonic Findings

The studies of Gluecker et al. (Gluecker et al. 2003) and Pickhard et al. (Pickhard et al. 2003) are the only two studies evaluating a screening population, and are remarkably the two studies with the lowest incidence of highly important extracolonic findings, findings with additional investigation, or cancers. This indicates that significant extracolonic findings are lower in screening population settings.

Looking at the age of patients, again, the study of Pickhard et al. (Pickhard et al. 2003), has the youngest patient population, indicating that extra-colonic findings increase with age.

This is in conjunction with the findings of Ng et al. (Ng et al. 2004) who reported upon extraco-lonic findings in the frail and elderly undergoing abdomino-pelvic CT for suspected colorectal carcinoma. In this patient population, previously undi-agnosed malignancies were found twice as common (2%), indicating that with an aging population and an increased use of cross-sectional imaging, an increased number of incidental findings will occur.

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