Virtual colonoscopy is a minimally invasive exam to screen for cancer of the large intestine (colon cancer). Virtual colonoscopy is also known as a screening CT colonography.
Unlike traditional colonoscopy, which requires a scope to be inserted into your rectum and advanced through your colon, virtual colonoscopy uses a CT scan to produce hundreds of cross-sectional images of your abdominal organs. The images are combined and digitally manipulated to provide a detailed view of the inside of the colon and rectum.
Virtual colonoscopy is one option used to screen for colon cancer. Discuss your colon cancer screening options with your doctor to determine whether virtual colonoscopy is the right option for you.
Mayo Clinic's approach
Sept. 23, 2017
- AskMayoExpert. CT colonography. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2016.
- Bibbins-Domingo K, et al. Screening for colorectal cancer: US Preventive Services Task Force recommendation statement. JAMA. 2016;315:2564.
- Johnson CD, et al. Computed tomographic colonography (virtual colonoscopy): A new method for detecting colorectal neoplasms. Endoscopy. 1997;29:454.
- Hara AK, et al. Detection of colorectal polyps by computed tomographic colography: Feasibility of a novel technique. Gastroenterology. 1996;110:284.
- Colorectal cancer screening. Fort Washington, Pa.: National Comprehensive Cancer Network. http://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/f_guidelines.asp. Accessed Aug. 24, 2017.
- Virtual colonoscopy. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diagnostic-tests/virtual-colonoscopy. Accessed Aug. 24, 2017.
- Riggin EA. Allscripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Jan 31, 2017.