Optimizing colonic distention for multi-detector row CT colonography: effect of hyoscine butylbromide and rectal balloon catheter

Radiology. 2003 Oct;229(1):99-108. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2291021151. Epub 2003 Aug 27.


Purpose: To investigate the effects of hyoscine butylbromide and an inflatable rectal balloon catheter on luminal distention during computed tomographic (CT) colonography.

Materials and methods: One hundred thirty-six subjects undergoing CT colonography were randomized to receive either 20 mg or 40 mg of hyoscine butylbromide or no spasmolytic. Subjects were also independently randomized to undergo CT colonography with an inflatable rectal balloon catheter or a standard thin rectal tube. Multi-detector row CT colonography was performed with patients in prone and supine positions, with colonic segmental distention assessed by a single observer with a four-point scale. A simple assessment of whether distention was adequate for clinical interpretation was also made, and the effect of hyoscine butylbromide and catheter use was examined by using multivariate ordered logistic regression.

Results: Administration of hyoscine butylbromide was associated with significantly improved cecal (P =.05), ascending (P =.001), and transverse (P <.001) colonic distention when patients were supine and improved ascending (P <.001) and descending (P <.001) colonic distention when patients were prone. Compared with control subjects, patients given a spasmolytic had odds of 6.49 for clinically adequate distention throughout all colonic segments (P =.001). There was no incremental advantage with use of a 40-mg dose. In contrast, rectal balloon catheter use was not significantly associated with improved distention.

Conclusion: Hyoscine butylbromide improves colonic distention during CT colonography and should be routinely administered where it is available. Use of a thin rectal tube for insufflation is adequate.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Butylscopolammonium Bromide / pharmacology*
  • Catheterization*
  • Colon / diagnostic imaging*
  • Colon / drug effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parasympatholytics / pharmacology*
  • Posture
  • Rectum
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed* / methods


  • Parasympatholytics
  • Butylscopolammonium Bromide