Korean J Gastrointest Endosc.  2009 May;38(5):260-265.

A Prospective Randomized Trial Comparing Preference of Sulfate Free Polyethylene Glycol with Standard Polyethylene Glycol

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Eulji University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. pys1109@eulji.ac.kr


BACKGROUND/AIMS: The standard polyethylene glycol (PEG) solution for colonic cleansing has a salty taste and a large volume of it is required, which can cause failure for the patient to ingest the required dosage. This has been a limitation for its usage. Sulfate free PEG (SF-PEG) has a less salty taste due to removal of the sodium sulfate, but the published studies in western countries about the preference and the degree of patient's satisfaction with these two solutions has shown conflicting results. The object of this study was to compare SF-PEG with PEG solution in regard to preference, the degree of patient's satisfaction and the adverse effects in Korean patients. We also attempted to determine whether these factors were associated with preference.
Ninety-four patients scheduled for colonoscopy were given one liter of both solutions (SF-PEG and PEG) and then the patients were allowed to select either of the two solutions for the further two liters intake under informed consent. Before colonoscopy, the preferred solution, the degree of patient's satisfaction, the adverse effects and other information were recorded by questionnaire.
Fifty-nine patients among the 94 patients (63%) preferred the SF-PEG solution (p<0.05). Especially, the young patients under the age of 35 preferred the SF-PEG solution (83% vs 58%; p=0.045), and patients who had already experienced colonoscopy with PEG solution tended to prefer the SF-PEG (54% vs 78%; p=0.054).
Korean patients preferred the SF-PEG over PEG, and especially young aged patients and the patients who had already taken the PEG solution. Similar results were obtained for both solutions concerning the adverse effects, cleansing quality and compliance, and the degree of satisfaction was not much improved, which was probably due to the same large volume of fluid that is required for colon cleaning.


Colonoscopy; Lavage solutions; Sulfate free polyethylene glycol; Preference
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