How Often Should IBD Patients Undergo Colonoscopy?

Gastrointestinal Endoscopy Applications

How Often Should IBD Patients Undergo Colonoscopy?

“Our findings support colonoscopy intervals of 1 to 3 years in patients with IBD to reduce late-stage CRC and all-cause mortality.”

Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) who underwent a colonoscopy within three years of colorectal cancer (CRC) diagnosis were found to have earlier-stage tumors.

When analyzing “all-cause” mortality rates, those with a colonoscopy within one year of diagnosis fared better than patients who had not undergone the procedure within five years of CRC diagnosis.

A recent study examining the effectiveness of varying colonoscopy intervals on CRC outcomes among patients with IBD published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology journal, reached these findings.

“Our findings support colonoscopy intervals of 1 to 3 years in patients with IBD to reduce late-stage CRC and all-cause mortality,” the authors conclude.

Patients with IBD are at an increased risk of cancer as a result of chronic intestinal inflammation.

Researchers analyzed the association between colonoscopy surveillance intervals on CRC stage, treatment, or all-cause and cancer-specific mortality. Colonoscopy intervals prior to CRC diagnosis were categorized as within one year, one to three years, three to five years, or no colonoscopies in the five previous years. It included patients with CRC and IBD between 2000 and 2015 in the National Veterans Health Administration.

Of 566 patients:

  • 69.4 percent did not have a colonoscopy within five years prior to diagnosis
  • 9.7 percent had a colonoscopy within one year of diagnosis
  • 17.7 percent underwent a colonoscopy within one to three years of diagnosis
  • 3.1 percent had the procedure three to five years prior to diagnosis

Those who underwent surveillance colonoscopy within a year or between one and three years prior to diagnosis were less likely to be diagnosed at a late stage, researchers found. Regardless of IBD type or duration, colonoscopies within one year of diagnosis led to lower all-cause mortality.

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