Randomised clinical trial: Low-volume bowel preparation for colonoscopy - A comparison between two different PEG-based formulations

A. Repici, R. Cestari, V. Annese, G. Biscaglia, E. Vitetta, L. Minelli, G. Trallori, S. Orselli, A. Andriulli, C. Hassan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Low-volume bowel preparations with polyethylene glycol (PEG) have been shown to provide an equivalent cleansing with improved tolerability as compared with standard PEG bowel preparation for colonoscopy. A new iso-osmotic sulphate-free formulation of PEG-Citrate-Simethicone (PEG-CS) in combination with bisacodyl has been recently developed. Aim To compare the quality of bowel cleansing with PEG-CS with bisacodyl vs. PEG-Ascorbate (PEG-ASC) in adult out-patients undergoing colonoscopy. Methods Randomised, observer-blind, parallel group study in adult out-patients undergoing colonoscopy in five Italian centres. Both preparations were taken the evening before the procedure. Subjects were instructed to take 2-4 tablets of 5 mg bisacodyl at 16:00 hours and 2 L of PEG-CS at 20:00 hours or 2 L of PEG-ASC plus 1 L of additional water the day before colonoscopy. Bowel cleansing was evaluated according to the Boston Bowel Preparation Scale (≥6 scores were considered as 'clinical success'), and mucosal visibility according to a 3-point scale. Tolerability, acceptability and compliance were also evaluated. Results Four hundred and eight patients were randomly allocated to PEG-CS and bisacodyl (n = 204, male patient 48%, mean age 59.1 years) or PEG-ASC (n = 204, male patient 51%, age 59.4 years). In the planned per-protocol analysis, the rate of successful preparation was 79.1% following PEG-CS with bisacodyl, and 70% following PEG-ASC (P <0.05). Mucosal visibility was evaluated as optimal in 56.1% in the PEG-CS and bisacodyl and 46.3% in the PEG-ASC group (P <0.05). There were no serious adverse events (AE) in each of the two experimental groups. Two subjects in the PEG-ASC group discontinued the study because of AE. Conclusions Polyethylene glycol-Citrate-Simethicone in combination with bisacodyl was more effective for bowel cleansing than PEG-ASC for out-patient colonoscopy. Tolerability, safety, acceptability and compliance of the two low-volume bowel preparations were similar.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)717-724
Number of pages8
JournalAlimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)


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