Tagging-based, electronically cleansed CT colonography: evaluation of patient comfort and image readability

Radiology. 2006 Apr;239(1):149-59. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2383041308.


Purpose: To prospectively compare the homogeneity, adequacy, and patient acceptance of nonionic iodine-based regimens with those of a barium-based regimen for computed tomographic (CT) colonography with electronic subtraction cleansing.

Materials and methods: After institutional review board approval and informed consent were obtained, 68 subjects (41 men (60%) men, 27 (40%) women; mean age, 60 years +/- 6 [standard deviation]) with average or moderate risk factors for development of colorectal carcinoma were recruited and placed into three study groups. Group 1 (n = 25) ingested 150-mL aliquots of 2% barium sulfate suspension with meals and snacks for 48 hours prior to imaging, without other diet modification or a cathartic. Group 2 (n = 21) ingested 10-mL aliquots of nonionic iodinated contrast material (iopromide) with a concentration of 300 mg per milliliter with meals and snacks for 2 days before imaging, without diet modification or a cathartic. Group 3 (n = 22) ingested nonionic iodinated contrast material (iohexol) with a concentration of 300 mg per milliliter with meals and snacks for 2 days before imaging and ingested 34 g of magnesium citrate the evening prior to imaging. CT colonography was also performed on 10 control subjects who ingested polyethylene glycol electrolyte solution prior to imaging. Subjective and numerical measures of bowel preparation quality, homogeneity, and patient comfort among the noncathartic and cathartic cohorts were compared with nonparametric analysis of variance, the Fisher exact test, and the F test, as appropriate. The study was HIPAA compliant.

Results: Study subjects who received tagging preparations reported significantly improved discomfort scores when compared with those of the control subjects (P < .05, each comparison). There was no significant difference in discomfort scores among groups 1, 2, and 3. For each reader, scores of subtracted image readability were highest for group 3. Dichotomized rates of preparation "success" were also greatest for group 3.

Conclusion: In this series, the patient discomfort scores were significantly improved with tagging preparations for CT colonography. Nonionic iodinated contrast material in conjunction with a hyperosmotic laxative (magnesium citrate) was associated with the best subjective and numerical indices of readability.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Barium Sulfate
  • Colonography, Computed Tomographic / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Subtraction Technique


  • Barium Sulfate