Thirty percent fewer colonoscopy procedures when using stool test
26 September 2016
According to research conducted in general medical practices in the Netherlands, the number of patients referred to hospital for a colonoscopy (examination of the bowel by means of an endoscope) can be reduced by 30 percent.
To that end, a set of questions, physical examinations and stool tests should be performed by general practitioners and incorporated as a standard procedure in the diagnostic process. The study, coordinated by the University Medical Center (UMC) Utrecht, has been published in today's BMC Medicine journal.
Diagnosing serious bowel disorders (such as colon cancer and Crohn's disease) is rendered more difficult considering patients' symptoms can be diffuse. In principle, when a general practitioner suspects a serious intestinal disease, they refer the patient to the hospital for a colonoscopy, but previous studies have shown that no serious condition is ascertained in 60-80 percent of...