Fecal Tagging and Electronic Cleansing

A 3D evaluation will be less time-consuming and labor-intensive if the colon is empty; colonic contents can hamper an efficient review as fecal material can resemble a polyp and fluid levels can hamper polyp detection. In principle an empty colon can be achieved in two different ways. The colon can be cathartically prepared with a laxative agent or its contents can be tagged after which it can be electronically cleansed.

In the latter method patients are asked to ingest a contrast agent approximately two days before the actual colonography examination. The tagged contents of the colon can be digitally subtracted after the data acquisition with the use of specialized software. This results in theory in a virtual clean colon that can be evaluated three-dimensionally, in which polyps are still in situ.

Tagging will probably add to the patient's compliance since laxative preparation is often experienced as a heavy burden (Lefere et al. 2002; IannacconE et al. 2004a; van Gelder et al. 2004a).

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