Original article Clinical endoscopy| Volume 97, ISSUE 1, P78-88, January 2023

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NBI International Colorectal Endoscopic–derived high-confidence optical diagnosis of small polyps compared with histology: understanding errors to improve diagnostic accuracy

Published:August 23, 2022DOI:

      Background and Aims

      Developments in image-enhancing endoscopy and polyp classification systems have led to a number of gastroenterology societies endorsing an optical diagnosis (OD) approach for small polyps at colonoscopy. In this study we performed a root-cause analysis of ODs to determine the most likely causes of OD error.


      As part of a prospective feasibility study, DISCARD3 (Detect InSpect ChAracterise Resect and Discard 3), evaluating implementation and quality assurance of a “resect and discard” strategy for consecutive small polyps <10 mm, a root-cause analysis of 184 cases of high-confidence OD error was performed. In all cases, histopathology underwent a second blinded review and, where discrepancy persisted, further review with deeper levels.


      After a root-cause analysis, 133 of 184 true OD errors were identified and classified into 4 types: A (OD, adenoma; histology, serrated), 45/133 (33.8%); B (OD, serrated; histology, adenoma), 55/133 (41.4%); C (OD, adenoma; histology, normal), 19/133 (14.3%); and D (OD, serrated; histology, normal), 14/133 (10.5%). The remaining 51 of 184 errors were because of a pathology error requiring deeper levels (43/184), pathology observer or laboratory error (7/184), or other error (1/184).


      OD errors can be related to endoscopist-related factors such as poor photodocumentation, failures of current classification systems, and incomplete histology. We identified a subset of serrated polyps frequently misdiagnosed as adenomas (“pseudoadenomas”) using the NBI International Colorectal Endoscopic (NICE) classification. An enhanced algorithm for OD is proposed based on the NICE classification including morphologic and adjunct polyp features.


      AI (artificial intelligence), DISCARD3 (Detect InSpect ChAracterise Resect and Discard 3), ESGE (European Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy), NBI (narrow-band imaging), NICE (NBI International Colorectal Endoscopic), OD (optical diagnosis), PIVI (Preservation and Incorporation of Valuable endoscopic Innovations)
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