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Revista chilena de cirugía

On-line version ISSN 0718-4026


MUNOZ P., Nelson et al. Comparative evaluation of effectiveness and tolerability with polyethylene glycol and sodium picosulfate-magnesium citrate as intestinal preparation agents for colonoscopy. Rev Chil Cir [online]. 2018, vol.70, n.3, pp.224-232. ISSN 0718-4026.


The effectiveness of colonoscopy depends on multiple factors, being two of the most important ones an adequate bowel preparation and the patient's tolerability to the preparation.


Compare effectiveness and tolerability of two bowel preparation agents, polyethylene glycol (PEG) and sodium picosulfate/magnesium citrate (SPMC).

Patients and Methods

Randomized clinical trial on outpatients that went into colonoscopy in INDISA Clinic. We evaluated effectiveness and tolerability with Boston Bowel Preparation Score (BBPS) and Lawrence questionnaire [composed by Likert scale, two qualitative questions and Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) for pain], respectively.


189 patients, 123 were randomized to PEG and 66 to SPMC. BBPS average in patients in the PEG branch was 7.51 (SD 1.66) and for SPMC 7.12 (SD 1.71) (p = 0.111). Likert scale for evaluating tolerability average for PEG was 0.94 (SD 0.68) and for SPMC 0.63 (SD 0.61) (p = 0.0004). VAS scale for PEG had an average of 7.68 (SD 2.4) and for PSCM 9.04 (SD 1.59) (p < 0.0001). When we asked for workplace absenteeism, there were no significant differences between both groups and when we asked about using the same intestinal preparation in a future colonoscopy there was statistical significance in favor to SPMC (p = 0.026).


No differences were noted on effectiveness between the PEG and SPMC bowel preparations. Nevertheless, SPMC appeared to be better tolerated by patients.

Keywords : bowel preparation solutions; colonoscopy; polyethylene glycols; sodium picosulfate.

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