Early detection and removal of colorectal polyps have been proven to reduce mortality from colorectal carcinoma (CRC), the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. Unfortunately, traditional techniques for CRC examination (i.e., barium enema, sigmoidoscopy, and colonoscopy) are unsuitable for mass screening because of either low accuracy or poor public acceptance, costs, and risks. Virtual colonoscopy (VC) is a minimally invasive alternative that is based on tomographic scanning of the colon. After a patient's bowel is optimally cleansed and distended with gas, a fast tomographic scan, typically helical computed tomography (CT), of the abdomen is performed during a single breath-hold acquisition. Two-dimensional (2D) slices and three-dimensional (3D) rendered views of the colon lumen generated from the tomographic data are then examined for colorectal polyps. Recent clinical studies conducted at several institutions including ours have shown great potential for this technology to be an effective CRC screening tool. In this paper, we describe new methods to improve bowel preparation, colon lumen visualization, colon segmentation, and polyp detection. Our initial results show that VC with the new bowel preparation and imaging protocol is capable of achieving accuracy comparable to conventional colonoscopy and our new algorithms for image analysis contribute to increased accuracy and efficiency in VC examinations.