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Saudi J Gastroenterol. 2004 Sep;10(3):150-4.

The completeness rate of colonoscopy in a cohort of unsedated patients.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, King Khalid University Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.



Colonoscopy is considered a painful procedure requiring routine intravenous sedation, however there are number of potential advantages to performing colonoscopy without sedation. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of unsedated colonoscopy on the success rate of caecal intubation.


All charts of patients who had unsedated colonoscopy from January 2002 to September 2003 were reviewed. Patient characteristics including age, gender, and mode of presentation were collected. The success rate of unsedated colonoscopy was compared with the standard success rate of sedated colonoscopy in the literature. The reasons for incomplete colonoscopy and sites reached were recorded.


During the study period, 503 examinations were performed. Patients mean age was 48.5 years, 55.9 % of them were males. Colonic polyps were the predominant abnormal endoscopic finding; occurring in 21.3%. The completion rate in the study population excluding patients with obstructive disease and patients with inadequate preparation was only 67%.


In this cohort study, sedation probably affects the overall success rate of cecal intubation. A large prospective randomized study comparing sedated with unsedated colonoscopy in terms of completion rate and patient satisfaction is needed.

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