Background: Previous studies indicate that visual size estimation (in situ) of polyp size tends to differ from postfixation measurements, which effects allocation to surveillance intervals. Little is known about interobserver variation of in-situ measurements of large polyps. The primary objective was to assess interobserver variation of in situ measurements of large colorectal polyps. Secondary objectives were the agreement of in situ measurements with postfixation measurements, and the agreement on detection of ≥20 mm polyps between these measurements.
Material and methods: Interobserver variability of in situ polyp size measurements was assessed between a diagnostic colonoscopy and the secondary therapeutic colonoscopy by dedicated endoscopists, in patients that were referred for an advanced polypectomy. After excision pre- and postfixation polyp sizes were measured with a ruler in three dimensions.
Results: A total of 40 patients, with 45 polyps, were included in the study. The average difference between the two in situ measurements was 2.4 mm (95% confidence interval (CI): -0.4-5.2). The differences between the first in situ, second in situ and pre-fixation measurement in comparison to postfixation measurements were 1.8 mm (95% CI: -1.2-4.9), 0.1 mm (95% CI: -1.5-1.8) and 1.0 mm (95% CI: -0.2-2.2). Cohen's Kappa on detection of ≥20 mm polyps in agreement with postfixation measurements was 0.65 in the primary and 0.88 in the secondary in situ measurements.
Conclusion: This study shows a variation between in situ size measurements of large polyps. Improvements in daily clinical routines can be made by using an instrument to compare polyp size with and refraining from rounding sizes up or down. A randomized controlled trial assessing which instruments should be used for in-situ measurements of large polyps is warranted, in order to optimize size measurements of large colorectal polyps.