CT Colonography (CTC) is a very useful test which is currently underutilised in Australia. ARGANZ has provided an update on this topic which is available pdf here (104 KB) .
Current literature demonstrates that CTC is equivalent to OC for the detection of polyps with advanced histology and that no significant cancers are missed when cathartic and faecal tagging agents are used.
The New Zealand society of Gastroenterology suggests that symptomatic patients who; are >80yrs, have relevant co-morbidities including respiratory risk from sedation, have an abdominal mass or have had a failed or incomplete colonoscopy, are referred to CTC rather than OC.
The key issues include
- Lengthy waiting lists for optical colonoscopy when many of those patients could be appropriately assessed by CTC
- Lack of radiologist and referrer awareness of Medicare criteria for referral
- Limitations of access for patients in rural areas.
ARGANZ is committed to helping our members to promote the availability and appropriateness of CTC to their referrers and to make the test more widely available to those in rural areas.
A new MSAC application will be started to expand Medicare funding to patients who do not have timely access to optical colonoscopy.
The full ARGANZ update on CTC is available pdf here (104 KB)
A useful fact sheet about CTC for discussion with referrers is available pdf here (57 KB)