Not All Virtual Colonoscopy Systems are Equal in Colon Cancer Detection, Study Reveals

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STONY BROOK, N.Y.  -- Demonstrating clearly that not all virtual colonoscopies are equal, astudy  published in the December 2003 issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology and The New England Journal of Medicine  found the Viatronix V3D-Colon system to be dramatically more reliable and accurate than either the GE Navigator or Vital Images Vitrea 2 systems. Not only did V3D-Colon provide the highest-quality images and the most thorough screening, it offered physicians the most features and greatest ease of use in viewing, manipulating, and examining 100 percent of the colon to detect and identify polyps, the most common precursor of colon cancer. In addition, in some cases, V3D-Colon outperformed optical colonoscopy, long considered the “gold standard” of colorectal cancer screening.

“After performing a direct comparison of three different virtual colonoscopy systems, we determined that only one system, the Viatronix system, was capable of a primary time efficient 3D reading, which I believe is necessary for sensitive detection of polyps,” said Perry J. Pickhardt, M.D., author of the study, whose credentials include staff radiologist for the National Naval Medical Center, assistant professor of radiology for the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, and currently associate professor of radiology at the University of Wisconsin Medical School.

Virtual colonoscopy offers a non-invasive alternative to the traditional optical colonoscopy, which requires that a long, flexible fiber-optic scope be inserted into the rectum and maneuvered up to five feet along the length of the colon. V3D-Colon combines the sophisticated computer imaging of a CT scan with breakthrough medical diagnostic software technology to provide a patient-friendly yet incredibly accurate tool for viewing the colon. With the Viatronix system, a thin rubber tube is inserted only one inch into the rectum in order to distend the colon with carbon dioxide. Then, two 20-second CT scans send the patient’s data to a computer system, where the Viatronix preprocessor reconstructs a three-dimensional model of the patient’s colon and electronically “cleanses” the data of debris (stool) remnants in the colon.  The data is then transmitted to a reading station where physicians can automatically conduct an interactive, three-dimensional “fly through” examination of the patient’s colon on the computer screen.

“With our V3D-Colon procedure, virtually all of the risk and discomfort of a colonoscopy is eliminated, while, equally important, the physician’s ability to visualize polyps is greatly enhanced,” says Zaffar Hayat, COO of Viatronix, Inc.

The non-invasiveness of the V3D procedure is itself a benefit to patients, eliminating not only the physical discomfort of a conventional colonoscopy, but also the inherent risk of the colon walls being perforated by the optical scope. Adding to that, however, is the fact that a Viatronix virtual colonoscopy requires no sedation, so patients can resume normal activities immediately after the short 15-minute procedure. Plus, there is no pre-exam fasting or harsh colon-cleansing necessary. Patients simply follow a special low-residue diet of easily digestible foods, accompanied by a pleasant-tasting drink containing a small amount of barium, two days prior to the procedure.  The barium enables the system’s software to electronically remove any stool remnants from the bowel images, so there is no need for enemas or vigorous laxative purging.

Source: Viatronix, Inc.

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