Computer Aided Detection of Polyps in the Colon


The purpose of this study is to examine the role of an automatic polyp detection software (henceforth referred to as the research software) as a support system during colonoscopy; a procedure during which a physician uses a colonoscope or scope, to look inside a patient's rectum and colon. The scope is a flexible tube with a camera-to see the lining of the colon. The research software is used to aid in the detection of polyps (abnormal tissue growths in the wall of the colon and adenomas (pre-cancerous growths) during colonoscopy. The research software used in this study was programmed by a company in Shanghai, which develops artificial intelligence software for computer aided diagnostics. The research software was developed using a large repository (database or databases) of polyp images where expert colonoscopists outlined polyps and suspicious lesions. The software was subsequently developed and validated using several databases of images and video to operate in near real-time or within minutes of photographing the tissue. It is intended to point out polyps and suspicious lesions on a separate screen that stands behind the primary monitor during colonoscopy. It is not expected to change the colonoscopy procedure in any way, and the physician will make the final determination on whether or not to biopsy or remove any lesion in the colon wall. The research software will not record any video data during the colonoscopy procedure. In the future, this software may help gastroenterologists detect precancerous areas and decrease the incidence of colon cancer in the United States.

Study Type

  • Study Type: Interventional
  • Study Design
    • Allocation: Randomized
    • Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
    • Primary Purpose: Diagnostic
    • Masking: None (Open Label)
  • Study Primary Completion Date: December 2020

Detailed Description

Length of Study – The duration of the study is expected to be 8-12 months. Enrollment of study patients will cease when approximately 250 patients have been enrolled. Study Design- Design will be a multi-center, prospective, unblinded randomized control trial. Patients referred for either screening or surveillance colonoscopy will be included. Equipment: Aside from standard of care scope used, a second computer monitor that will stand behind the standard monitor used during colonoscopy. Additionally , a computer system unit with an operating system. Standard Clinical Procedure Typically, intravenous sedation using a combination of benzodiazepine and narcotic medications (with or without propofol under the supervision of a trained anesthesiologist) are used for colonoscopy. Continuous pulse oximetry and blood pressure monitoring is used throughout the procedure. Supplemental oxygen is used as needed. Patients are usually placed in the left lateral decubitus position and the colonoscope is introduced into the rectum. The colonoscope is advanced under direct visualization until the cecum and appendiceal orifice is reached. The colonoscope is usually retroflexed within the rectum. The colonoscopist carefully inspects each segment of colon during advancement and then again on withdrawal of the colonoscope. Any suspicious lesions encountered during insertion or withdrawal are inspected by the colonoscopist and a final determination is made by the clinician on whether or not to remove a given lesion. Any lesion that is deemed suspicious or polypoid is removed by en-bloc polypectomy, piecemeal polypectomy, or may be referred for endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR) at a later date. After the procedure, patients recover in the post-procedural recovery room. After the procedure, results are discussed with the patient. The ability of colonoscopy to detect lesions is discussed with the patient as well as the fact that a small percentage of polyps and other lesions may be missed during the test. Study Procedure Patients will receive a colonoscopy with a gastroenterologist. During the standard clinical procedural protocol and for the study period, colonoscopists will have the benefit of a second monitor that will project the polyp detection algorithm in real-time over the video output of the colonoscopy. The algorithm will detect suspicious, polyp-like lesions within the lumen of the colon, and during the procedure a research assistant will view the second monitor at all times and record a time stamp for any potential polyps on an intra-procedural data collection sheet. Data Collection Variables collected and measured will include colonoscopist(s) performing the procedure, number of adenomas noted per procedure, adenoma detection rate for a given colonoscopist, number of polyps detected per procedure, polyp detection rate (the proportion of colonoscopic examinations performed that detect one or more polyps), cecal intubation rate, time needed to reach the cecum, time needed to withdraw colonoscope both when polyps are identified (and thus need to be removed) and on normal colonoscopy, level of sedation, and complications: Acute if within 48 hours of procedure & delayed if within 3-30 days after procedure. Data Analysis – Normally distributed continuous variables will be summarized using means and standard deviations while non-normally distributed continuous variables will be summarized using medians and ranges.


  • Device: Computer Aided Diagnostic Software
    • The research software is deep learning algorithm used to aid in the detection of polyps (abnormal tissue growths in the wall of the colon and adenomas (pre-cancerous growths) during colonoscopy. In its current form, the automatic polyp detection system is installed on a computer system unit that utilizes an an operating system.

Arms, Groups and Cohorts

  • Experimental: Arm-1 Standard Colonoscopy/AI-Assisted Combined Colonoscopy
    • Normal scope insertion and withdrawal first, followed by a second withdrawal with the research software running on a separate screen to catch any additional polyps missed during the first withdrawal.
  • Experimental: Arm-2 AI-Assisted Combined Colonoscopy/Standard Colonoscopy
    • Normal scope insertion but first withdrawal with the research software running on a separate screen, followed by a second withdrawal without the research software running.

Clinical Trial Outcome Measures

Primary Measures

  • Adenoma Miss Rate (AMR)
    • Time Frame: One Hour
    • Adenoma Miss Rate (AMR), to determine if the combination technique identifies more adenomas compared to the standard technique. AMR will be calculated as the number of adenomas detected on the second pass or portion in either group divided by the total number of adenomas detected during both passes

Secondary Measures

  • Polyp Miss Rate (PMR)
    • Time Frame: One Hour
    • To determine the accuracy of the polyp detection software by determining if the combination technique identifies more polyps compared to the standard technique: Per-patient true positive, false positive and false negative will be recorded. True positives will be defined as lesions that are detected for >2 seconds by the research software and are deemed to be consistent in appearance with a polyp by the endoscopist. False positives will be defined as lesions that are detected for > 2 seconds by the research software but are ultimately deemed by the endoscopist to have a gross appearance not consistent with polyp. False negatives will be defined as lesions that are not detected, or detected for <2 seconds by the research software, but are deemed by the endoscopist to be consistent with polyp
  • Amplified adenoma detection rate
    • Time Frame: 6 months
    • To determine if the combination of an automated polyp detection software and standard colonoscopy will have a higher detection rate of adenomas
  • Advanced adenoma miss rate determination
    • Time Frame: 6 months
    • Advanced adenoma miss rate will be calculated as the number of advanced adenomas [adenoma that is ≥ 10 mm in size] detected on the second pass or portion in either group divided by the total number of advanced adenomas detected during both passes.
  • Colonoscope segmental withdrawal time determination
    • Time Frame: 6-10 minutes
    • The time it takes to withdraw the colonoscope from the end of the colon back to the rectum. This is the time that your gastroenterologist will be looking for polyps most.
  • Total procedure time determination
    • Time Frame: During length of procedure
    • The entire duration of the procedure.
  • Rate of adverse event determination
    • Time Frame: 6 months
    • We will be monitoring the rate of adverse events related to the procedure for the duration of the study.

Participating in This Clinical Trial

Inclusion Criteria

  • Patients age: ≥ 22 years – Patients presenting for routine colonoscopy for screening and/or surveillance purposes. – Willingness to undergo two withdrawals with and without the use of computer-aided software while undergoing conventional colonoscopy with sedation – Ability to provide written, informed consent and understand the responsibilities of trial participation Exclusion Criteria:

  • Minors aged < 22 years. – People with diminished cognitive capacity – Patients undergoing diagnostic colonoscopy (e.g. as an evaluation for active gastrointestinal bleed, referring collectively to the stomach and the small and large intestine). – Patients with incomplete colonoscopies (those where endoscopists did not successfully intubate the cecum due to technical difficulties or poor bowel preparation) – Patients that have standard contraindications to colonoscopy in general (e.g. documented acute diverticulitis, fulminant colitis and known or suspected perforation). – Patients with inflammatory bowel disease – Patients with any polypoid/ulcerated lesion > 2 cm concerning for invasive cancer on endoscopy – Patients referred for endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR), which is a procedure to remove early-stage cancer and precancerous growths from the lining of the digestive tract.

Gender Eligibility: All

Minimum Age: 22 Years

Maximum Age: N/A

Are Healthy Volunteers Accepted: No

Investigator Details

  • Lead Sponsor
    • Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
  • Provider of Information About this Clinical Study
    • Principal Investigator: Tyler Berzin, Assistant Professor of Medicine – Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
  • Overall Official(s)
    • Tyler M Berzin, MD, Principal Investigator, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
  • Overall Contact(s)
    • Tyler M. Berzin, MD, [617] 632-8623,


Siegel RL, Miller KD, Jemal A. Cancer Statistics, 2017. CA Cancer J Clin. 2017 Jan;67(1):7-30. doi: 10.3322/caac.21387. Epub 2017 Jan 5.

Winawer SJ, Fletcher RH, Miller L, Godlee F, Stolar MH, Mulrow CD, Woolf SH, Glick SN, Ganiats TG, Bond JH, Rosen L, Zapka JG, Olsen SJ, Giardiello FM, Sisk JE, Van Antwerp R, Brown-Davis C, Marciniak DA, Mayer RJ. Colorectal cancer screening: clinical guidelines and rationale. Gastroenterology. 1997 Feb;112(2):594-642. Erratum in: Gastroenterology 1997 Mar;112(3):1060. Gastroenterology 1998 Mar;114(3):625.

Ferlitsch M, Reinhart K, Pramhas S, Wiener C, Gal O, Bannert C, Hassler M, Kozbial K, Dunkler D, Trauner M, Weiss W. Sex-specific prevalence of adenomas, advanced adenomas, and colorectal cancer in individuals undergoing screening colonoscopy. JAMA. 2011 Sep 28;306(12):1352-8. doi: 10.1001/jama.2011.1362.

Winawer SJ, Zauber AG, Ho MN, O'Brien MJ, Gottlieb LS, Sternberg SS, Waye JD, Schapiro M, Bond JH, Panish JF, et al. Prevention of colorectal cancer by colonoscopic polypectomy. The National Polyp Study Workgroup. N Engl J Med. 1993 Dec 30;329(27):1977-81.

Rex DK, Schoenfeld PS, Cohen J, Pike IM, Adler DG, Fennerty MB, Lieb JG 2nd, Park WG, Rizk MK, Sawhney MS, Shaheen NJ, Wani S, Weinberg DS. Quality indicators for colonoscopy. Am J Gastroenterol. 2015 Jan;110(1):72-90. doi: 10.1038/ajg.2014.385. Epub 2014 Dec 2.

Corley DA, Jensen CD, Marks AR, Zhao WK, Lee JK, Doubeni CA, Zauber AG, de Boer J, Fireman BH, Schottinger JE, Quinn VP, Ghai NR, Levin TR, Quesenberry CP. Adenoma detection rate and risk of colorectal cancer and death. N Engl J Med. 2014 Apr 3;370(14):1298-306. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1309086.

Clinical trials entries are delivered from the US National Institutes of Health and are not reviewed separately by this site. Please see the identifier information above for retrieving further details from the government database.

At, we keep tabs on over 200,000 clinical trials in the US and abroad, using medical data supplied directly by the US National Institutes of Health. Please see the About and Contact page for details.