An intraprocedural bowel cleansing system for difficult-to-prepare patients-A multicenter prospective feasibility study

United European Gastroenterol J. 2024 Feb;12(1):56-65. doi: 10.1002/ueg2.12501. Epub 2024 Jan 11.


Background: Adequate bowel preparation is a prerequisite for colonoscopy. However, up to 20% of colonoscopies remain inadequately prepared. Risk factors for inadequate bowel preparation often overlap with those of failed cecal intubation. This study aimed to assess the feasibility of an intraprocedural bowel cleansing system (BCS) in patients with a history of inadequate bowel preparation.

Methods: Patients (n = 44) with a history of inadequate bowel preparation in the past 2 years were included. After a limited preparation with 300 mL split-dose sodium picosulfate magnesium citrate, additional cleansing during colonoscopy was performed with the BCS. The primary outcome was adequate bowel preparation using the Boston Bowel Preparation Scale (BBPS). Secondary outcomes included cecal intubation rate, procedure times, usability, and safety.

Results: Median BBPS increased from 1-2-2 (IQR 1-2) to 3-3-3 (IQR) (p < 0.0001), with 31.8% and 88.6% of patients adequately prepared before and after using the BCS, respectively (p < 0.0001). Cecal intubation rate was 88.6%. Reasons for incomplete colonoscopy were looping (n = 2), technical failure (n = 1), relative stricture (n = 1), and residual feces (n = 1). In patients with complete colonoscopy, the adequate cleansing rate was 97.5%. Median total procedure time was 26 min, of which 5.3 min were spent on cleaning. General ease of use was scored with a median of 4 out of 5, representing "as good as conventional colonoscopy". No serious adverse events occurred.

Conclusions: Adequate bowel cleaning can be achieved with an intraprocedural BCS in patients with a history of inadequate bowel preparation, which may reduce repeat colonoscopies and clinical admissions for bowel preparation. However, since these patients more frequently have complicated anatomy (surgical scarring, diverticulosis, etc.), adequate patient selection is advised to avoid incomplete procedures.

Keywords: Boston Bowel Preparation Scale; bowel preparation; cecal intubation rate; clinical trial; colonoscopy; colorectal cancer; inadequate bowel preparation; intraprocedural bowel cleansing; screening; surveillance.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Cathartics* / adverse effects
  • Cecum
  • Colonoscopy* / methods
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Humans
  • Prospective Studies


  • Cathartics

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