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New insights on missed colonic lesions during colonoscopy through artificial intelligence–assisted real-time detection (with video)

      Background and Aims

      Meta-analysis shows that up to 26% of adenomas could be missed during colonoscopy. We investigated whether the use of artificial intelligence (AI)-assisted real-time detection could provide new insights into mechanisms underlying missed lesions during colonoscopy.

      Methods

      A validated real-time deep-learning AI model for the detection of colonic polyps was first tested in videos of tandem colonoscopy of the proximal colon for missed lesions. The real-time AI model was then prospectively validated in a total colonoscopy in which the endoscopist was blinded to real-time AI findings. Segmental unblinding of the AI findings were provided, and the colonic segment was then re-examined when missed lesions were detected by AI but not the endoscopist. All polyps were removed for histologic examination as the criterion standard.

      Results

      Sixty-five videos of tandem examination of the proximal colon were reviewed by AI. AI detected 79.1% (19/24) of missed proximal adenomas in the video of the first-pass examination. In 52 prospective colonoscopies, real-time AI detection detected at least 1 missed adenoma in 14 patients (26.9%) and increased the total number of adenomas detected by 23.6%. Multivariable analysis showed that a missed adenoma(s) was more likely when there were multiple polyps (adjusted odds ratio, 1.05; 95% confidence interval, 1.02-1.09; P < .0001) or colonoscopy was performed by less-experienced endoscopists (adjusted odds ratio, 1.30; 95% confidence interval, 1.05-1.62; P = .02).

      Conclusions

      Our findings provide new insights on the prominent role of human factors, including inexperience and distraction, on missed colonic lesions. With the use of real-time AI assistance, up to 80% of missed adenomas could be prevented. (Clinical trial registration number: NCT04227795.)

      Abbreviations:

      AI (artificial intelligence), R-FCN (region-based fully connected convolutional neural network)
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