A randomized controlled trial in a training institution comparing a pediatric variable stiffness colonoscope, a pediatric colonoscope, and an adult colonoscope

Gastrointest Endosc. 2002 Feb;55(2):172-9. doi: 10.1067/mge.2002.121189.


Background: There are few comparative data on the efficacy of different colonoscopes. This study compared the efficacy of a new pediatric variable stiffness colonoscope with that of standard pediatric and adult colonoscopes in the performance of routine colonoscopy.

Methods: Three hundred sixty-three consecutive patients were randomized to undergo colonoscopy with a pediatric variable stiffness (n = 122), pediatric (n = 114), or adult colonoscope (n = 127). Primary outcomes recorded were minutes to the cecum and completeness of the examination. Secondary outcomes included patient tolerance, use of abdominal compression, and endoscopists' assessment of the difficulty of the procedure.

Results: Cecal intubation rates were not statistically different between the groups: variable stiffness (94.3%), pediatric (96.5%), and adult (89.8%) (p = 0.099). There was no significant difference in mean insertion time, patient tolerance, use of abdominal compression, or endoscopists' global assessment or examination difficulty between groups. Overall, the initial completion rate of 93% increased to 97% on switching to a different colonoscope. Colonoscopy was unsuccessful more often and was more time consuming in women who had undergone hysterectomy.

Conclusion: The variable stiffness colonoscope performs well, but does not appear to offer any distinct advantage over standard pediatric or adult colonoscopes for routine colonoscopy. Further study may identify subgroups of patients that benefit from this new technology.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Colonoscopes*
  • Colonoscopy*
  • Equipment Design
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Pliability
  • Reference Standards