A prospective audit of the efficacy, safety, and acceptability of low-volume polyethylene glycol (2 L) versus standard volume polyethylene glycol (4 L) versus magnesium citrate plus stimulant laxative as bowel preparation for colonoscopy

J Clin Gastroenterol. 2012 Aug;46(7):595-601. doi: 10.1097/MCG.0b013e3182432162.


Background: High-quality video colonoscopy requires adequate preparation of the bowel to ensure both adequate procedure completion rates and polyp detection rates. We sought to examine our practice to determine which bowel preparation cleansed most effectively in our patients.

Aim: A prospective audit of the efficacy, safety, and acceptability of low-volume polyethylene glycol (2-L Moviprep; Norgine Pharmaceuticals) versus standard volume polyethylene glycol (4-L KleanPrep; Norgine Pharmaceuticals) versus magnesium citrate (Citramag; Sanochemia UK Ltd.) plus stimulant laxative as bowel preparation for colonoscopy.

Setting: District General Hospital.

Patients: Patients attending for day case colonoscopy.

Interventions: Not applicable.

Main outcome measures: Overall cleansing grades of preparations used: patient compliance, taste, and acceptability.

Methods: A prospective audit of patient experience of taking bowel preparation and blinded colonic scoring assessment of bowel cleansing of each of the tested regimes.

Results: A total of 258 (female,138; 53.5%) patients were recruited, 91 in the KleanPrep group (F:45, 49.5%), 86 patients in the Moviprep group (female, 45; 52.3%), and 81 in the Senna/Citramag group (female, 44; 54.3%). Significantly more patients were unable to take the prescribed dose of KleanPrep when compared with the other 2 regimes (19.6%; P<0.0001 vs. Moviprep; P<0.0001 vs. Senna/Citramag). A total of 45.65% of patients reported KleanPrep as tasting unpleasant. This was significantly more than both Moviprep (10.47%; P=0.008) and Senna/Citramag (9.88%; P<0.0001). The overall cleansing efficacy across the 3 groups (those with grades A or B) was 73.9%, 74.5%, and 86.5% for KleanPrep, Moviprep, and Senna/Citramag, respectively. In this series Senna/Citramag proved significantly better at bowel cleansing than KleanPrep (P<0.05) and it showed a trend toward better cleansing when compared with Moviprep (P=0.08).

Limitations: Nonrandomized trial. Split-dosing regime for morning and afternoon lists may have confounded results.

Conclusions: In summary, low-volume PEG (Moviprep) and Senna/Citramag combination were better tolerated than large volume PEG with Senna/Citramag providing superior mucosal cleansing.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cathartics* / administration & dosage
  • Cathartics* / adverse effects
  • Citric Acid* / administration & dosage
  • Citric Acid* / adverse effects
  • Colonoscopy / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Laxatives* / administration & dosage
  • Laxatives* / adverse effects
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Organometallic Compounds* / administration & dosage
  • Organometallic Compounds* / adverse effects
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Patient Compliance
  • Polyethylene Glycols* / administration & dosage
  • Polyethylene Glycols* / adverse effects
  • Prospective Studies
  • Senna Extract* / administration & dosage
  • Senna Extract* / adverse effects
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Cathartics
  • Laxatives
  • MoviPrep
  • Organometallic Compounds
  • Citric Acid
  • Polyethylene Glycols
  • Senna Extract
  • magnesium citrate