Impact of photodocumentation of caecal intubation on colonoscopy outcomes



The European and American colonoscopy guidelines recommend mandatory photodocumentation of caecal intubation to allow retrospective analysis and improve outcomes. We aim to demonstrate whether photodocumentation of caecal intubation improves colonoscopy outcomes.


We extracted images and procedural data from 317 consecutive colonoscopies. Images were anonymised and reviewed by four expert reviewers who scored their certainty that caecal intubation was achieved. Statistical analysis correlated adequately and inadequately photodocumented cases with polyp detection rate (PDR) and adenoma detection rate (ADR).


The patients’ mean age was 59.4 years and 52% were male. Eighty-one percent were performed by consultant endoscopists and 19% by specialist registrar. Sixty-five percent of these procedures were performed by gastroenterologists and 35% by surgical endoscopists. Fifty-three percent were deemed to have adequately demonstrated photographic evidence of caecal intubation. Statistical analysis comparing adequately and inadequately photodocumented cases: the PDR of procedures with confirmed caecal intubation was greater than procedures without photographic evidence (40% vs 34%). Similarly, the ADR of photographically confirmed cases was greater than that of inadequately photodocumented cases (25% vs 18%). The number of images taken per procedure positively correlated with photographic documentation of caecal intubation.


While failing to reach statistical significance, there was a nominal difference in ADR and PDR demonstrated between the two groups, and with predominantly positive confidence intervals, this might suggest that a larger sample size could result in significance in favour of photodocumentation of caecal intubation. Future studies would be warranted. However, endoscopists that take more images were more likely to have proven caecal intubation.

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Correspondence to Brendan Moran.

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Ethical approval was granted by the Clinical Research Ethics Committee, Galway University Hospitals Group, Ireland—Ref: C.A. 2226.

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Moran, B., Sehgal, R., O’Morain, N. et al. Impact of photodocumentation of caecal intubation on colonoscopy outcomes. Ir J Med Sci (2021).

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  • Caecal imaging
  • Caecal intubation
  • Caecal intubation rate (CIR)
  • Colonoscopy
  • Outcomes
  • Photodocumentation