Optical devices 'insuffient' to diagnose cancerous colorectal polyps

Unless there is a technology leap, histology will still be needed for most diminutive polyps, say UK researchers

The accuracy of optical technologies in differentiating cancerous from benign tissue is "insufficient" for most routine clinical applications, including diagnosing pre-cancerous colorectal polyps, researchers say.

colonoscopy device being held by surgeon

"Optical technologies have been used for over 20 years to diagnose cancer or pre-cancer in large bowel polyps during colonoscopy and they have evolved significantly," said first author Dr Sam Mason (PhD) of Imperial College London, UK.

The meta-analysis was the largest of its kind, examining five optical technologies used on more than 33,000