Standard bowel cleansing is highly ineffective in cirrhotic patients undergoing screening colonoscopy

Dig Liver Dis. 2015 Jun;47(6):523-5. doi: 10.1016/j.dld.2015.02.013. Epub 2015 Mar 6.


Background: Few data are available on tolerability and quality of standard bowel cleansing for colonoscopy in patients with chronic disease.

Aim: We seek to evaluate the tolerability and results of lavage solution for colonoscopy in cirrhotic patients in comparison with controls.

Methods: Fifty-three cirrhotic and fifty-two normal subjects undergoing colonoscopy were prospectively enrolled in the study. Data regarding tolerability of lavage solution were harvested at the pre-procedure visit. Data on level of bowel cleansing and other endoscopic variables were recorded after the procedure.

Results: Rate of failure to complete the prescribed bowel preparation and incidence of side effects during its administration were similar between cirrhotic and normal subjects. Despite this, cirrhotic patients exhibited an insufficient level of bowel preparation with approximately half exhibiting bad colon cleansing level (49% versus 5% control, p<0.001).

Conclusion: Alternative bowel cleansing protocols are needed for cirrhotic subjects to better match their colonoscopic screening needs.

Keywords: Bowel cleansing; Colonoscopy; Liver cirrhosis.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cathartics* / administration & dosage
  • Cathartics* / adverse effects
  • Chronic Disease
  • Colonic Neoplasms / complications
  • Colonic Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Colonoscopy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Liver Cirrhosis / complications*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polyethylene Glycols* / administration & dosage
  • Polyethylene Glycols* / adverse effects
  • Prospective Studies


  • Cathartics
  • Polyethylene Glycols