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New software aids virtual colonoscopy

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9:45pm, December 13, 2005

From Chicago, at a meeting of the Radiological Society of North America

Radiologists can use a new computer program to spot dangerous growths in the colon without probing inside the body, researchers report. The software could make virtual colonoscopy a more dependable alternative to conventional colonoscopy.

In the standard method, an optical probe passes along the length of the colon. That carries a small risk of injury and is more unpleasant—but, according to some studies, more accurate—than the virtual method, in which a computer images the colon using abdominal X rays.

Ronald M. Summers of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., and his colleagues designed software that augments virtual exams. It discriminates precancerous po

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