Screening Colonoscopy Withdrawal Time Threshold for Adequate Proximal Serrated Polyp Detection Rate

Viral D. Patel, William K. Thompson, Brittany R. Lapin, Jay L. Goldstein, Eugene F. Yen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Introduction: For adequate adenoma detection rate (ADR), guidelines recommend a mean withdrawal time (MWT) of ≥ 6 min. ADR has been shown to correlate strongly with proximal serrated polyp detection rate (PSP-DR), which is another suggested quality measure for screening colonoscopy. However, the impact of directly measured withdrawal time on PSP-DR has not been rigorously studied. We examined the relationship between MWT to ADR and PSP-DR, with the aim of identifying a functional threshold withdrawal time associated with both increased ADR and PSP-DR. Methods: This was a retrospective study of endoscopy and pathology data from average-risk screening colonoscopy examinations performed at a large system with six endoscopy laboratories. A natural language processing tool was used to determine polyp location and histology. ADR and PSP-DR were calculated for each endoscopist. MWT was calculated from colonoscopy examinations in which no polyps were resected. Results: In total, 31,558 colonoscopy examinations were performed, of which 10,196 were average-risk screening colonoscopy examinations with cecal intubation and adequate prep by 24 gastroenterologists. When assessing the statistical significance of increasing MWT by minute, the first significant time mark for PSP-DR was at 11 min at a rate of 14.2% (p = 0.01). There was a significant difference comparing aggregated MWT < 11 min compared to ≥ 11 min looking at the rates of adenomas [OR 1.65 (1.09–2.51)] and proximal serrated polyps [OR 1.81 (1.06–3.08)]. While ADR linearly correlated well with MWT (R = 0.76, p < 0.001), the linear relationship with PSP-DR was less robust (R = 0.42, p = 0.043). Conclusion: In this large cohort of average-risk screening colonoscopy, a MWT of 11 min resulted in a statistically significant increase in both ADR and PSP-DR. Our data suggest that a longer withdrawal time may be required to meet both quality metrics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3084-3090
Number of pages7
JournalDigestive diseases and sciences
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2018


  • Colonoscopy
  • Colorectal cancer screening
  • Endoscopic detection
  • Polypectomy
  • Sessile serrated polyp
  • Withdrawal time

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Gastroenterology


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