Variation in caecal intubation rates between screening and symptomatic patients

Nalin Nagrath, Perminder S. Phull*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The caecal intubation rate (CIR) is an important quality standard for endoscopists, as well as for national bowel cancer screening programmes; however, individuals undergoing colonoscopy for bowel screening and symptomatic patients represent different groups, and their characteristics may affect colonoscopy performance. Objective: To compare colonoscopists' performance, as assessed by the CIR, in symptomatic patients compared to individuals undergoing colonoscopy for bowel cancer screening. Methods: Retrospective audit of CIRs for all patients undergoing colonoscopy at our institution during the year 2008. We retrieved the data from an endoscopy reporting software database and from the local bowel cancer screening programme database. Demographic data was extracted, as well as details of known factors that may affect completion of colonoscopy, such as poor bowel preparation, presence of diverticular disease, polyps, tumour and strictures. The unadjusted CIRs for colonoscopists participating in the screening programme were compared between the bowel screening and the symptom­atic patient groups. Results: Five screening colonoscopists performed 1056 colonoscopies, of which 488 were bowel screening procedures. The overall CIR was significantly lower in the symptomatic, compared to the screening, individuals (88.5% versus 93%, P < 0.02). No significant differences were observed between the two groups for risk factors that could impair the CIR. The CIR was <90% for two of the five colonoscopists in symptomatic patients, and just under 90% for one colonoscopist in screening individuals. Multivariate analysis revealed that non-screening colonoscopy was an independent predictor for an incomplete procedure (OR 1.8; 95% CI 1.2-2.8). Conclusions: The CIR, a key quality performance indicator for colonoscopy, is lower in symptomatic patients compared to individuals undergoing colorectal cancer screening. These results suggested that CIR should be monitored independently in screening and non-screening colonoscopies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-300
Number of pages6
JournalUnited European Gastroenterology Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2014


  • Caecal intubation rate
  • Colonoscopists
  • Colonoscopy
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Patient type
  • Performance assessment
  • Quality
  • Screening
  • Symptomatic patients


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