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J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 1997 Jan;24(1):33-7.

Colonoscopy preparation in children: safety, efficacy, and tolerance of high- versus low-volume cleansing methods.

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Department of Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Royal Children's Hospital, Brisbane, Australia.



The use of large-volume electrolyte balanced solutions as preparation for colonoscopy often results in poor patient compliance and acceptance. The tolerance, safety, and efficacy of high-versus low-volume colon-cleansing methods as preparation for colonoscopy in children were compared by randomized operator-blinded trial.


Twenty-nine children ages 3.6-14.6 years had either high-volume nasogastric balanced polyethylene glycol electrolyte lavage (20 ml/kg/ h) until the effluent was clear (n = 15), or two oral doses of sodium phosphate solution (22.5-45 ml) separated by oral fluid intake (n = 14).


Both preparations were equally effective. The low-volume preparation was better tolerated and caused less discomfort that the high-volume preparation, judging by serial nurse observations. The incidence of abdominal symptoms, diarrhea, sleep disturbance, and vomiting was not significantly different between the two groups. Both groups had a small reduction in mean hematocrit and serum calcium levels. The sodium phosphate preparation caused increases in mean serum sodium concentrations from 140 to 145 mmol/L and serum phosphate concentrations from 1.41 to 2.53 mmol/L. Ten hours after the commencement of the preanesthetic fast, these concentrations had returned to normal.


There are advantages in terms of tolerance, discomfort, and case of administration with acceptable colonic cleansing with the use of the less-invasive oral sodium phosphate low-volume colon-cleansing preparation in children. Safe use requires ensuring an adequate oral fluid intake during the preparation time and avoidance of use in patients with renal insufficiency.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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