JOURNAL CLUB: Extracolonic Findings at CT Colonography: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.
AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2018 Jul;211(1):25-39. doi: 10.2214/AJR.17.19495. Epub 2018 May 24. Pickhardt PJ1, Correale L2, Morra L2, Regge D3, Hassan C4.
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to perform a systematic review and meta-analysis of published studies on CT colonography (CTC) in which extracolonic findings were assessed.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A systematic review of studies of screening CTC and of CTC to evaluate symptoms (1994-June 2017) was conducted to estimate the rate of extra-colonic findings and associated additional workup recommendations. The primary outcome was potentially important extracolonic findings, defined as CT Colonography Imaging Reporting and Data System (C-RADS) category E4 or as having high clinical importance (if C-RADS was not used). Secondary outcomes included likely unimportant extracolonic findings (i.e., C-RADS category E3 or similar). Random-effects and meta-regression analyses were used to generate pooled estimates and to explore risk factors for extracolonic findings related to various cohort characteristics.
RESULTS: Primary data were acquired from 44 studies (49,676 patients). The pooled rate of potentially important extracolonic findings was 4.9% (95% CI, 3.7-6.4%) with a high degree of heterogeneity (I2 = 95%). This estimate progressively declined over time (9% per year since 2006) and was significantly related to the reporting system (lower for C-RADS than for low, moderate, high clinical significance reporting). C-RADS-specific meta-analysis (32,746 patients) showed rates of potentially significant extracolonic findings in 2.8% (95% CI, 1.9-3.5%) of the cohort without symptoms and 5.2% (95% CI, 3.5-7.6%) of the cohort with symptoms and in 5.7% (95% CI, 3.3-9.8%) of seniors (≥ 65 years) versus 2.3% (95% CI, 1.2-4.5%) of those younger than 65 years. The overall pooled rates of recommended workup were 8.2% (95% CI, 6.6-10.1%) for all extracolonic findings and 4.0% (95% CI, 2.7-5.9%) for potentially important extracolonic findings.
CONCLUSION: With use of the more robust C-RADS classification, potentially important extracolonic findings at CTC occur in less than 3% of cohorts without symptoms. For all extracolonic findings, the rate of suggested or recommended additional workup is approximately 8% but decreases to 4% for potentially important extracolonic findings.