The CT pneumocolon is, in the UK, becoming the test of choice and may be used in future plans of bowel screening for colorectal cancer. The rationale for this examination for the elderly patient is that it is kinder than the barium enema and the actual pictures show more of the internal structure of the abdomen as well as the bowel. The patient is still required to have the bowel preparation before the examination.
The CT pneumocolon is a procedure where air is introduced into the bowel instead of barium and there is no need to manipulate the patient. The patient is placed in the CT scanner. The disadvantage is that biopsies and polyp removal are not possible but, unlike with the barium enema, patients could have a colonoscopy performed the same day, thereby alleviating the need for further bowel preparation.
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