The timing of bowel preparation before colonoscopy determines the quality of cleansing, and is a significant factor contributing to the detection of flat lesions: a randomized study

World J Gastroenterol. 2006 Oct 14;12(38):6161-6. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v12.i38.6161.


Aim: To compare the cleansing quality of polyethylene glycol electrolyte solution and sodium phosphate with different schedules of administration, and to evaluate whether the timing of the administration of bowel preparation affects the detection of polyps.

Methods: One hundred and seventy-seven consecutive outpatients scheduled for colonoscopy were randomized in one of four groups to receive polyethylene glycol electrolyte solution or oral sodium phosphate with two different timing schedules. Quality of cleansing, polyp detection, and tolerance were evaluated.

Results: Patients receiving polyethylene glycol or sodium phosphate on the same day as the colonoscopy, obtained good to excellent global cleansing scores more frequently than patients who received polyethylene glycol or sodium phosphate on the day prior to the procedure (P < 0.001). Flat lesions, but not flat adenomas, were more frequent in patients prepared on the same day (P = 0.02).

Conclusion: The quality of colonic cleansing and the detection of flat lesions are significantly improved when the preparation is taken on the day of the colonoscopy.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cathartics / administration & dosage*
  • Cathartics / adverse effects
  • Colonic Polyps / diagnosis*
  • Colonic Polyps / pathology
  • Colonoscopy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phosphates / administration & dosage*
  • Phosphates / adverse effects
  • Polyethylene Glycols / administration & dosage*
  • Polyethylene Glycols / adverse effects
  • Time Factors


  • Cathartics
  • Phosphates
  • Polyethylene Glycols
  • sodium phosphate