Bowel preparation for colonoscopy: what is best and necessary for quality?

Curr Opin Gastroenterol. 2019 Jan;35(1):51-57. doi: 10.1097/MOG.0000000000000494.


Purpose of review: Colonoscopy is recognizably, the best colon cancer prevention test, provided the quality of the preparation is adequate for detection of precancerous polyps but also allowing for accurate identification of margins, thereby facilitating complete endoscopic resection. As there are many aspects effecting colon prep outcomes, it is timely to review new standards for optimizing outcomes, including product selection based on patient demographics.

Recent findings: New national guidelines have set a minimum quality threshold for adequacy and also defined a split day delivery for oral options as the "standard of care". Several new prep options have been recently released and these data are discussed.

Summary: Optimizing the quality of colon preps has major implications for clinical practice. Clinicians must recognize new targets for standard of care, providing the best approach for each individual patient, considering variable factors which may otherwise compromise success.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cathartics / administration & dosage
  • Cathartics / standards*
  • Colonic Polyps / surgery*
  • Colonoscopy / methods*
  • Colonoscopy / standards
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Health Services Research
  • Humans
  • Precancerous Conditions / surgery*
  • Preoperative Care / methods*
  • Preoperative Care / standards


  • Cathartics