Data from single-center experience or small sample-sized studies have shown that chromoendoscopy (CE) might be superior to white-light endoscopy (WLE) for dysplasia surveillance in ulcerative colitis (UC) patients. We performed a prospective randomized trial with a long-term follow-up to compare the detection rate of dysplasia among WLE with targeted biopsies (WLT), WLE with random biopsies (WLR), and dye-based CE with targeted biopsies (CET) in UC patients.


Patients with long-standing UC were enrolled from 11 medical centers from March 2012 to December 2013 and randomized into three arms (WLT, WLR, and CET). Only high-definition endoscopy was used in all three groups. The patients were followed up by annual endoscopy with biopsies through December 2017.


With a median follow-up time of 55 months, a total of 122 patients with 447 colonoscopies were finally analysed in the per-protocol set: WLT (n = 43), WLR (n = 40), and CET (n = 39). A total of 34 dysplastic lesions were found in 29 colonoscopies of 21 patients. WLR and CET could identify more colonoscopies that diagnosed dysplasia than WLT (8.1% and 9.7% vs 1.9%; P = 0.014 and 0.004, respectively). WLR obtained more biopsied samples than WLT and CET (16.4 ± 5.1 vs 4.3 ± 1.4 and 4.3 ± 1.4; both P < 0.001). During the second half of the follow-up (37 − 69 months), CET could identify more colonoscopies that diagnosed dysplasia than WLT (13.3% vs 1.6%, P = 0.015) and showed a trend for increasing the detection rate compared with WLR (13.3% vs 4.9%, P = 0.107).


For a better outcome of cancer/dysplasia surveillance in patients with long-standing UC, CET appeared to be more effective than WLT and less tedious than WLR. CET was found to be particularly useful when a long-term (>3 years) follow-up was conducted for dysplasia surveillance. The trial was registered on (ChiCTR1900023689).

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