Yellow or Blue for Cautery of Non-pedunculated Polyps

Almost all polyps that pediatric gastroenterologist manage are pedunculated polyps.  Nevertheless, a recent study (H Pohl et al. Gastroenterol 2020; 159: 119-28. Full text: Effects of Blended (Yellow) vs Forced Coagulation (Blue) Currents on Adverse Events, Complete Resection, or Polyp Recurrence After Polypectomy in a Large Randomized Trial) on cautery for non-pedunculated polyps was intriguing.

Methods: This multicenter, randomized, controlled, single-blinded study enrolled patients with a large colorectal polyp across 18 medical centers between April 2013 and October 2017. N=928.  ERBE device.

Key finding:

  • Equivalent results were noted with both blended current (Yellow) or forced coagulation (Blue)
    • “Serious adverse events occurred in 7.2% of patients in the Endocut (blended) group and 7.9% of patients in the forced coagulation group, with no significant differences in the occurrence of types of events.”
    • Proportions of polyps that were completely removed: 96% in the Endocut group vs 95% in the forced coagulation group
    • Proportion of polyps found to have recurred at surveillance colonoscopy: 17% for both groups
    • “Endocut more frequently caused intraprocedural bleeding that required treatment than forced coagulation (17% vs 11%). In contrast, small residual tissue islands were more frequently described in the forced coagulation group than in the Endocut group.”

Discussion: 

  • “We also did not include pedunculated polyps. Because these polyps have a greater risk of immediate bleeding, we may infer from our study that it may be safer to apply a coagulation current with a lower risk of immediate bleeding to these polyps.”

My take: Both of these settings yielded similar results.  For now, with pedunculated polyps, probably best to rely on the coagulation setting (Blue).

Related blog posts:

Disclaimer: This blog, gutsandgrowth, assumes no responsibility for any use or operation of any method, product, instruction, concept or idea contained in the material herein or for any injury or damage to persons or property (whether products liability, negligence or otherwise) resulting from such use or operation. These blog posts are for educational purposes only. Specific dosing of medications (along with potential adverse effects) should be confirmed by prescribing physician.  Because of rapid advances in the medical sciences, the gutsandgrowth blog cautions that independent verification should be made of diagnosis and drug dosages. The reader is solely responsible for the conduct of any suggested test or procedure.  This content is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by a qualified healthcare provider. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a condition

How to Do a Colonoscopic Polypectomy & U.S. COVID-19 Tracker

NPR’s website has a good tracker of what is going in each state.  Here’s the link:

NPR: Map: Tracking The Spread Of The Coronavirus In The U.S  One example: on this tracher, in Georgia, March 27, 8:30 am: 1642 reported cases, 56 deaths. (However, Georgia has conducted less than 10,000 tests in a population of more than 10 million).

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A recent review (M Kay, R Wyllie. JPGN 2020; 70: 280-4) provides some practical tips for improving polypectomy technique.

Key points:

The optimal position for the polyp is in the 5-7 o’clock position.

  • Snaring juvenile polyps close to the head rather than close to the colonic wall “allows for easier therapeutic intervention if polypectomy bleeding occurs” (eg. hemoclip) and may lower the risk of complications like perforation
  • Epinephrine volume reduction (for larger polyps) (use 1:10,000 dilution) and saline-assisted polypectomy may facilitate procedure.  Large polyps (>2 cm) could require piecemeal resection; epinephrine reduction may result in a decreased size as well.
  • “Cold snare technique has replaced use of hot biopsy forceps in adults for removal of small sessile polyps”
  • Electrosurgical units (ESUs) -settings are specific to each unit.  Newer ‘smart’ ESUs have suggested default settings, typically lower settings for right colon. “Most endoscopists use pure coagulation current or a combination of coagulation and cutting settings (blended current) for snare polypectomy. Use of pure cutting current without coagulation will result in bleeding.”

Related blog posts:

Disclaimer: This blog, gutsandgrowth, assumes no responsibility for any use or operation of any method, product, instruction, concept or idea contained in the material herein or for any injury or damage to persons or property (whether products liability, negligence or otherwise) resulting from such use or operation. These blog posts are for educational purposes only. Specific dosing of medications (along with potential adverse effects) should be confirmed by prescribing physician.  Because of rapid advances in the medical sciences, the gutsandgrowth blog cautions that independent verification should be made of diagnosis and drug dosages. The reader is solely responsible for the conduct of any suggested test or procedure.  This content is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by a qualified healthcare provider. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a condition

Adverse Events Following Pediatric Endoscopy –Underestimated Previously

A recent study (RE Kramer, MR Narkewicz. JPGN 2016; 62: 828-33) report the frequency of adverse events that occurred within 72 hours in a prospective observational cohort of 9577 patients from a single center.

The authors characterized complications more precisely and identified a much higher rate of complications than what has previously been reported.  Key findings:

  • The overall adverse event rate was 2.6% with 1.7% of all cases requiring unanticipated medical care.
  • Absolute risk of bleeding was 0.11%, infection 0.07%, and perforation 0.1% (n=12).  In total, these standard measures of complications were 0.28%.
  • Advanced and therapeutic cases had much higher rates of adverse events. Perforations occurred after esophageal dilatation (5), esophageal food impaction (1), polypectomy (4), and primary GJ placement (2).
  • Adverse rate with ERCP was 11.54%
  • Adverse rate with PEG was 10.71%
  • Adverse rate with dilatation was 10.94%.  It is noted that a total of 319 dilatations were reviewed.  5 had perforations.
  • Adverse rate with polypectomy was 6.27%.  It is noted that a total of 128 polypectomies were reviewed.  4 had perforations.
  • The authors did not identify a significantly higher complication rate with trainee physicians.

As noted in a previous entry (see below), studies in adults have an estimated a perforation rate of 0.09% and serious complication rates (GI and non-GI complications) of 0.15% for upper endoscopy and of 0.2% for colonoscopy. In addition, a large pediatric study of endoscopies, found a perforation rate of 0.014% for EGDs and 0.028% for colonoscopies. Thus, this report identifies a higher rate (10-fold) of perforation (driven by therapeutic endoscopy) and a much higher rate of adverse events, including 2.08% in diagnostic EGD and 3.9% for diagnostic colonoscopy.  Furthermore, for diagnostic EGD and for diagnostic colonoscopy, grade 2 (needing ER or unanticipated physician evaluation) or higher adverse events occurred in 1.21% and 2.31% respectively.

My take: Using a broader (and more accurate) definition of complications after endoscopy, the authors have demonstrated a much higher rate of adverse events, particularly following dilatation, PEG, polypectomy, and ERCP.  This report indicates that our preop counseling needs to be modified to inform families that complications are not quite so rare.

Related blog post:  High Endoscopy Complication Rate After Intestinal …

Complication -Unrelated to endoscopy:

pontine myelinosis

Best Tweets from Postgraduate Course: #NASPGHAN15

Since I am not at this year’s national meeting, I have followed some of the information on social media.  Here are some of the best tweets:

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Consensus guidelines after polypectomy

The US Multi-Society Task Force (MSTF) on colorectal cancer has updated their recommendations and provided an update on the literature as well (Gastroenterol 2012; 143: 844-57).

Their recommendations are summarized in Table 1 of this article.  In brief, repeat colonoscopy is recommended at the following interval:

  • 10 years –If no polyps or small (<10 mm) hyperplastic polyps in rectum/sigmoid
  • 5-10 years –if 1-2 small (<10 mm) tubular adenomas
  • 3 years –if 3-10 tubular adenomas or if adenoma with high-grade dysplasia
  • ❤ years –if >10 adenomas
  • 1 year  –if serrated polyposis syndrome

Other important points include the recommendation of adopting split-dose bowel preparations and avoiding interval fecal testing within 5 years after colonoscopy.  If the bowel preparation is poor, the MSTF recommends that in most cases colonoscopy should be repeated within 1 year.  Newer techniques like chromoendoscopy, narrow band imaging, and magnification endoscopy have not been adequately studied to recommend them as part of  a surveillance strategy.

Related blog entries:

Colonoscopy, Split-dosing bowel preps, and Ottawa scores

Aspirin prophylaxis for colorectal cancer?

Additional references:

  • -Gastroenterol 2010; 138: 73, 27 (ed). Overutilization of colon screening in low risk situations and underutilization in high risk situations in clinical practice.
  • -Clin Gastro & Hep 2010; 8: 795. Juvenile Polyps. Describes frequent rate of recurrence (3 of 18 among single polyps) & 45% overall. n=257. 39% with at least 2 polyps. Among those with multiple polyps, 7 had mutations in either SMAD4 (mothers against decpentaplegic drosophilia), BMPR1A (bone morphogenetic protein), or PTEN (phosphatase & tensin homolog). Their recs: recheck with scope in 1-3 years depending on polyp burden and presence of dysplasia.
  • -Clin Gastro & Hep 2009; 7: 1217. Fewer polyps detected as day progresses at a VA hospital n=477 pts. 27% decline in polyp detection.
  • -NEJM 2009; 361: 1179. Review of screening for colorectal cancer.
  • -Gastroenterol 2009; 137: 792. Use of CT colonography -current appraisal.
  • -Ann Intern Med 2009; 150: 1-8. Says endoscopists miss most cancers on right side & colonosopy reduces cancer by ~60% primarily due to left-sided cancers.  Most, 73%, of colonoscopies not done by GI/colorectal surgery.
  • -Gastroenterol 2008; 134: 1570. Update recommendations from ACS, ACR, US Multi-society task force.
  • -Clin Gastro & Hep 2005; 3: 633.  Inherited polyposis syndromes & genetic testing.
  • -Clin Perspectives in Gastro 2002; 5: 329.  Polyp techniques & complications. If entrapped snare, consider cutting off snare handle & pulling on 1 wire. Alternative us to use snare as guidewire & push scope beyond wire. For large stalks, consider using snare as tourniquet for 5 min. Consider pure (or blended) coagulation at settings 20-30W.
    Injection of fluid into the submucosa beneath the polyp increases the distance between the polyp and the deeper layers of the colon. Using a sclerotherapy needle normal saline is injected at the edge of the polyp raising a bleb. No specific volume of normal saline is used. The objective is to raise a large bleb with marked elevation of the polyp. The snare is then placed around the base of the polyp and it can be removed with electrocautery. If bleeding is a consideration then a solution of epinephrine can be used at a 1:10,000 concentration. The advantage of cautery is that residual tissue is usually destroyed although this is usually not a consideration when removing juvenile polyps.Hot biopsy forceps are usually used to ablate diminutive polyps (< 5 mm in diameter). The coagulation current applied should be low. 10-15 watts applied for 1-2 seconds. The technique is generally safe but serious complications including bleeding or perforation have been reported.The cold snare technique is safe in small polyps. (< 5 mm) The rationale is that the vessels feeding the polyp are small and the risk of bleeding is low. The advantage is that without cautery there is not deep tissue damage. Submucosal injection may make the procedure safer.