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Abstract

The idiopathic inflammatory bowel diseases, ulcerative colitis and Crohn's colitis, are associated with an increased risk for developing colorectal cancer. To reduce colorectal cancer mortality in inflammatory bowel disease, most patients and their physicians choose to follow a program of surveillance colonoscopy in an attempt to detect early neoplastic lesions at a curable stage. Colectomy is typically reserved for patients whose biopsy findings are indicative of heightened cancer risk based on interpretation by pathologists. Despite the absence of prospective controlled clinical trials to formally evaluate the benefits, risks, and costs of this approach, enough circumstantial evidence has accrued to warrant its widespread adoption in practice. Nevertheless, no standardized guidelines have yet been set forth to guide the gastroenterologist in performing surveillance. A panel of international experts was assembled to develop consensus recommendations for the performance of surveillance. The findings are presented herein.