J Korean Soc Coloproctol.  1997 Jun;13(2):223-228.

A Comparison of Oral Sodium Phosphate and Polyethylene Glycol Solution for

  • 1Seoul Coloproctology Clinic.


BACKGROUND: Polyethylene glycol(PEG) has been the most widely used colonic lavage solution. But large volume and salty taste of PEG solution is a problem which can lead to the noncompliance and the poor bowel cleansing. Recent reports have suggested that sodium phosphate solution of much smaller volume is more effective in colon cleansing ability and more easier to complete. Therefore, this study was designed to compare two solutions for colonoscopy and to determine the differences in either patient compliance or cleansing ability. METHOD: Eighty-two patients were randomized to take either oral sodium phosphate solution or 2 liter of PEG solution. Patient's discomfort and tolerance during ingestion was asessed by questionnaire and one colonoscopist who did not know the type of solution, assessed colonic preparation status.
Among 25 patients experiencing two separate colonoscopies with PEG solution and sodium phosphate solution respectively, 19(76%) patients preferred sodium phosphate solution. Sodium phosphate solution was found to be easier to take. Sodium phosphate caused thirst more frequently(p=0.013) than PEG solution. Particulate stool and water retention status were similar in two groups. Gas bubble formation that disturbs luminal observation was more frequently found in sodium phosphate preparation group(P=0.00). Sodium phosphate was more effective in right colon cleansing ability than PEG preparation(P=0.04). The Colonoscopist assessed sodium phosphate as "good" in 47.2% vs 58.6% after PEG preparation as a whole, but there was no statistical difference. CONSLUSION: Sodium Phosphate solution is better tolerated and more easier to take than PEG solution. Gas bubble formation is a correctable problem, but right colonic cleansing effect is not. Our results showed that sodium phosphate is likely to be more effective in colonic cleansing effect comparing to polyethylene glycol solution.


Bowel preparation; Polyethylene Glycols
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