Adenoma Detection Rate (ADR)

The purpose of a colonoscopy is to find colon cancer early enough to be able to cure it.  We have also learned that every colon cancer starts off as a pre-cancerous colon polyp, called adenoma, and that by removing adenomas, colon cancer can even be prevented.

Gastroenterologists developed a tool to measure the quality of a colonoscopy to be certain that individual gastroenterologists are doing a good job of finding adenomas.  This quality measure is called “adenoma detection rate (ADR)” and measures how often gastroenterologists find adenomas in the patients on whom they perform a colonoscopy. 

Studies have found that when gastroenterologists have a high ADR, it is unlikely that their patients will develop colon cancer after a colonoscopy.  However, if gastroenterologists have a low ADR, it is possible that their patients may develop colon cancer after a colonoscopy because the gastroenterologist may have missed some adenomas.

When it was first proposed, the ADR was 15% for women and 25% for men.  This means that it was expected that 15% of women will have an adenoma found during their colonoscopy and 25% of men (1 out of 4) will have an adenoma.  Those numbers have recently been increased to 20% for women and 30% for men.

With Southwest Gastroenterology’s latest ADR (first half of 2017) showing that 47% of women and 56% of men had adenomas found during their colonoscopy, we are well above the national average for adenoma detection.  While we like to think this means that we are doing an excellent job of finding pre-cancerous polyps, it also may mean that people in our community are at an increased risk of developing pre-cancerous polyps.

If you have not had a screening colonoscopy, or if you are due for your repeat colonoscopy, please call our office to schedule your appointment at (505) 999-1600.