Journal Club: August 2010

Dis Colon Rectum. 2010 Aug;53(8):1176-81.

Low-volume hybrid bowel preparation combining saline laxatives with oral contrast agents versus standard polyethylene glycol lavage for colonoscopy.

Lawrence EM, Pickhardt PJ.


PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to compare the quality of low-volume hybrid computed tomography colonography bowel preparation, using both laxatives and oral contrast, with standard polyethylene glycol lavage.

METHODS: The study group consisted of 300 consecutive adults (mean age, 58.3 years) who underwent colonoscopy immediately after positive computed tomography colonography. Hybrid bowel preparation for study group was <1 L in total volume, consisting of osmotic cathartic (sodium phosphate or magnesium citrate) in conjunction with oral contrast (2% barium and diatrizoate). A control group of 300 adults (mean age, 58.3 years) underwent primary colonoscopy after standard 4-liter polyethylene glycol lavage without oral contrast. The prospective preparation quality rating by the endoscopist served as the reference standard. A rating of poor/marginal was considered inadequate and adequate/good/excellent was considered diagnostic.

RESULTS: The frequency of inadequate bowel preparation was 4.3% (13/300) in the study group vs 12.3% (37/300) for the control group (P < .001). Specifically, preparation was poor or marginal in 10 and 3 cases in the hybrid cohort, respectively, and in 29 and 8 cases in the polyethylene glycol cohort, respectively. Preparation quality was scored as excellent in 32% (96/300) in the hybrid cohort and 23.3% (70/300) in the polyethylene glycol cohort (P < .05).

CONCLUSIONS: At colonoscopy, low-volume laxative-oral contrast hybrid preparations are effective for bowel cleansing, perhaps even more so than polyethylene glycol lavage. Beyond improvements in quality, the low-volume preparation may improve patient compliance and would allow for immediate computed tomography colonography if colonoscopy is incomplete, without the need for additional oral contrast tagging.