Korean J Gastrointest Endosc.  2009 Nov;39(5):265-270.

A Prospective Comparison of Sulfate Free Polyethylene Glycol versus Sodium Phosphate Solution for Precolonoscopic Bowel Preparation

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul Paik Hospital, Inje University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. yousunk69@korea.com


Polyethylene glycol (PEG) solution is commonly used for precolonoscopic preparation because of its safety and effectiveness. Sulfate free PEG (SF-PEG) solution was developed to reduce the salty taste by removing the sodium sulfate. The aim of this study was to compare the efficacy and patient compliance of SF-PEG and sodium phosphate (NaP) solutions for preparing the bowel before colonoscopy.
From February through April in 2007, 534 patients who underwent colonoscopy were prospectively enrolled. The efficacy of bowel cleansing was assessed by a doctor's questionnaire and the patient's compliance was assessed by a patient's questionnaire.
There was no significant difference between the groups for the "stools and fluids" assessment of bowel cleansing (2.07 vs. 2.14, respectively, p=0.149). However, SF-PEG was more effective on the "air bubbles" assessment (1.34 vs. 1.71, respectively, p<0.001) and the overall assessment (0.72 vs. 0.91, respectively, p=0.010) than NaP. The patients preferred SF-PEG rather than NaP for "Taste" (1.34 vs. 2.25, respectively, p=0.148). However, the patients significantly preferred NaP rather than SF-PEG for "Quantity" (2.46 vs. 1.18, respectively, p<0.001).
The SF-PEG solution showed more effectiveness for bowel cleansing as compared to the NaP solution. SF-PEG tastes better than NaP, but patients are still required to consume 4 liters for the standard preparing regimen.


Sulfate free polyethylene glycol; Sodium phosphate; Bowel cleansing; Patient's compliance
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