Home > News Stories > Time of day impact on colonoscopy

Time of day impact on colonoscopy

November 17, 2009
Vital Signs
Screening: One More Reason to Get Up Early
There are probably better ways to start the day, but a new study suggests that early morning is an ideal time to schedule a colonoscopy.
Physicians detected 20 percent more polyps during the first procedures of the day than they did during procedures performed later in the morning and the early afternoon, the study found.
“Hour by hour, there were fewer polyps found as the day progressed,” said Dr. Brennan M. R. Spiegel, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles and an author of the study, which appears in the November issue of the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. “It’s a small effect, very small, but very measurable and definitely there.”
A study at the Cleveland Clinic, published this year, found similar results, noting that 29.3 percent of morning procedures resulted in detection of at least one polyp, compared with 25.3 percent of those in the afternoon.
The new study looked at the results from 477 colonoscopies at the West Los Angeles Veterans Medical Center in 2006 and 2007. Most of the procedures were performed by a physician training in gastroenterology who was supervised by a faculty member.
Procedures occurred from 7:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. The researchers tried to control for other factors that might have affected the results, like the fact that patients usually came in with better bowel preparation for morning procedures. Dr. Spiegel suggests that fatigue may affect physicians.

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