Computer-aided diagnosis of neoplastic colorectal lesions using ‘real-time’ numerical color analysis during autofluorescence endoscopy

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Abstract

Objective

Differentiating non-neoplastic colorectal lesions from neoplastic lesions during screening colonoscopies is essential to reduce the unnecessary treatment of non-neoplastic lesions. The present study was conducted to verify the diagnostic yields of the computer-aided diagnostic system that enables ‘real-time’ color analysis of colorectal lesions when applied to autofluorescence endoscopy (AFE).

Patients and methods

Consecutive patients who were scheduled to undergo a therapeutic colonoscopy in our department were enrolled in this study. The encountered lesions were evaluated in AFE and color-tone sampling was performed. Lesions with green/red (G/R) ratios less than 1.01 were judged to be neoplastic and those with G/R ratios of at least 1.01 were considered to be non-neoplastic. All lesions greater than 5 mm were endoscopically removed and lesions less than 5 mm were biopsied.

Results

During the study period, a total of 32 patients with 102 colorectal lesions were evaluated with AFE. The mean G/R ratio for all neoplastic lesions was 0.86 [95% confidence interval (CI), 0.63–1.01], which was significantly lower than the mean G/R ratio for non-neoplastic lesions (1.12; 95% CI, 0.98–1.26; P<0.001). The mean G/R ratios were 1.36 (95% CI, 1.21–1.57) in normal mucosa, 1.12 (95% CI, 0.98–1.26) in hyperplastic lesions, 0.88 (95% CI, 0.69–1.02) in adenomas, and 0.61 (95% CI, 0.54–0.73) in intramucosal cancers. A G/R ratio cutoff value of 1.01 was applied for discriminating between neoplastic lesions and non-neoplastic lesions, and yielded sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values of 94.2, 88.9, 95.6, and 85.2%, respectively.

Conclusion

This diagnostic tool may lead to the reduction of unnecessary treatments for non-neoplastic lesions.

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