Objective: To assess whether endoscopic flushes of the bubble-bursting agent Gascon and the mucolytic agent Pronase are as effective in terms of improving endoscopic mucosal visibility as a pre-endoscopic drink of the same agents.
Material and methods: A total of 112 patients attending a Japanese tertiary referral centre for upper gastrointestinal endoscopy were randomized to receive either the standard Japanese procedure of a pre-endoscopic drink of water containing Gascon and Pronase with endoscopic flushes of 20-ml aliquots of water, or no pre-endoscopic therapy but endoscopic flushes of 20-ml aliquots of water containing Gascon, with or without Pronase as necessary.
Results: Visibility scores were significantly better in the pre-endoscopic drink group than in either of the endoscopic flush groups. The group receiving a pre-endoscopic drink required fewer flushes during the procedure and there was no difference in the endoscopic time between the three groups.
Conclusions: Our results suggest that endoscopic spraying of these bubble-bursting and mucolytic agents is not able to offer equivalent improvements in endoscopic mucosal visibility when compared with the standard Japanese therapy of a pre-endoscopic drink of these agents. The addition of Pronase to the spray solution had no measurable benefit over Gascon alone. We therefore cannot recommend endoscopic spraying of mucous clearing agents over their use as a pre-endoscopic drink.