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Better to have bowel prep and colonoscopy on the same day: study

Reuters Health • The Doctor's Channel Daily Newscast

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – When colonoscopy is scheduled for the afternoon, drinking the electrolyte solution in the morning is clinically equivalent to drinking half of it the night before, and affords the patient a better night’s sleep and less disruption to the previous workday, new research shows.

“Our study shows that AM-only dosing protocol provides outstanding colon cleansing which is critical for finding polyps and preventing cancer. In fact, many more polyps were found in the AM-only prep group,” senior author Dr. David Kastenberg told Reuters Health by email.

Dr. Kastenberg and colleagues at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, randomized 116 patients scheduled for afternoon colonoscopy either to take a split dosage of polyethylene glycol electrolyte solution on the evening before and the morning of the colonoscopy, or to drink the entire dose in the morning.

In their April 20th online paper in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, the researchers report that whole colon preparation was adequate in 92% of the morning-only group and 94% of the split dosage group. Right colon prep was adequate in 93% and 92%, respectively.

They found significantly more polyps in the morning-only group (1.57 versus 0.94 per patient). The morning-only group also had significantly less abdominal pain, better sleep quality and less interference with their work on the day before the procedure.

“An important implication of our finding is that you can have your cake and eat it too — high quality colonoscopy with superior tolerance as a one day procedure,” Dr. Kastenberg said.


Am J Gastroenterol 2010.