BACKGROUND & AIMS:
Real-time differentiation of diminutive polyps (1-5 mm) during endoscopy could replace histopathology analysis. According to guidelines, implementation of optical diagnosis into routine practice would require it to identify rectosigmoid neoplastic lesions with a negative predictive value (NPV) of more than 90%, using histologic findings as a reference, and agreement with histology-based surveillance intervals for more than 90% of cases.
We performed a prospective study with 39 endoscopists accredited to perform colonoscopies on participants with positive results from fecal immunochemical tests in the Bowel Cancer Screening Program at 13 centers in the Netherlands. Endoscopists were trained in optical diagnosis using a validated module (Workgroup serrAted polypS and Polyposis). After meeting predefined performance thresholds in the training program, the endoscopists started a 1-year program (continuation phase) in which they performed narrow band imaging analyses during colonoscopies of participants in the screening program and predicted histological findings with confidence levels. The endoscopists were randomly assigned to groups that received feedback or no feedback on the accuracy of their predictions. Primary outcome measures were endoscopists' abilities to identify rectosigmoid neoplastic lesions (using histology as a reference) with NPVs of 90% or more, and selecting surveillance intervals that agreed with those determined by histology for at least 90% of cases.
Of 39 endoscopists initially trained, 27 (69%) completed the training program. During the continuation phase, these 27 endoscopists performed 3144 colonoscopies in which 4504 diminutive polyps were removed. The endoscopists identified neoplastic lesions with a pooled NPV of 90.8% (95% confidence interval 88.6-92.6); their proposed surveillance intervals agreed with those determined by histologic analysis for 95.4% of cases (95% confidence interval 94.0-96.6). Findings did not differ between the group that did vs did not receive feedback. Sixteen endoscopists (59%) identified rectosigmoid neoplastic lesions with NPVs greater than 90% and selected surveillance intervals in agreement with those determined from histology for more than 90% of patients.
In a prospective study following a validated training module, we found that a selected group of endoscopists identified rectosigmoid neoplastic lesions with pooled NPVs greater than 90% and accurately selected surveillance intervals for more than 90% of patients over the course of 1 year. Providing regular interim feedback on the accuracy of neoplastic lesion prediction and surveillance interval selection did not lead to differences in those endpoints. Monitoring is suggested, as individual performance varied. ClinicalTrials.gov no: NCT02516748; Netherland Trial Register: NTR4635.