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Title: Facilitating colorectal cancer diagnosis with computed tomographic colonography
Author: Boone, D. J.
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2013
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Computed tomographic colonography (CTC) is a diagnostic technique involving helical volume acquisition of the cleansed, distended colorectum to detect colorectal cancer or potentially premalignant polyps. This Thesis summarises the evidence base, identifies areas in need of further research, quantifies sources of bias and presents novel techniques to facilitate colorectal cancer diagnosis using CTC. CTC literature is reviewed to justify the rationale for current implementation and to identify fruitful areas for research. This confirms excellent diagnostic performance can be attained providing CTC is interpreted by trained, experienced observers employing state-of-the-art implementation. The technique is superior to barium enema and consequently, it has been embraced by radiologists, clinicians and health policy-makers. Factors influencing generalisability of CTC research are investigated, firstly with a survey of European educational workshop participants which revealed limited CTC experience and training, followed by a systematic review exploring bias in research studies of diagnostic test accuracy which established that studies focussing on these aspects were lacking. Experiments to address these sources of bias are presented, using novel methodology: Conjoint analysis is used to ascertain patients‘ and clinicians’ attitudes to false-positive screening diagnoses, showing that both groups overwhelmingly value sensitivity over specificity. The results inform a weighted statistical analysis for CAD which is applied to the results of two previous studies showing the incremental benefit is significantly higher for novices than experienced readers. We have employed eye-tracking technology to establish the visual search patterns of observers reading CTC, demonstrated feasibility and developed metrics for analysis. We also describe development and validation of computer software to register prone and supine endoluminal surface locations demonstrating accurate matching of corresponding points when applied to a phantom and a generalisable, publically available, CTC database. Finally, areas in need of future development are suggested.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available