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BACKGROUND: A new 2 L polyethylene glycol (PEG) solution containing ascorbic acid (Asc) and electrolytes (Moviprep) has been developed for bowel cleansing. OBJECTIVES: To compare the efficacy, safety and acceptability of PEG + Asc versus sodium picosulphate + magnesium citrate in patients scheduled to undergo colonoscopy. DESIGN AND METHODS: This single blind, parallel group pilot study included 65 adult male and female patients. A blinded assessment of cleansing was made for each bowel segment by the colonoscopist and the scores determined an overall grading of bowel cleansing. Patients completed a questionnaire on the acceptability of the preparation. RESULTS: Successful bowel preparation was reported in 84.4% of patients who received PEG + Asc and 72.7% of patients who received sodium picosulphate + magnesium citrate (treatment difference +11.6, 95% CI -11.2, +34.5; p = 0.367). Patients were more likely to have a higher overall quality of bowel cleansing with PEG + Asc (p = 0.018), with specifically better cleansing in the ascending colon (p = 0.024) and caecum (p = 0.003) compared with patients who received sodium picosulphate + magnesium citrate. The adverse event profile of the two treatments was similar, with headache and gastrointestinal effects being the most commonly reported. Some patient acceptability results favoured sodium picosulphate + magnesium citrate for those patients who had experience of previous bowel preparation, but were similar for those patients who had not had a previous bowel preparation. CONCLUSIONS: PEG + Asc provided effective bowel cleansing, which was equivalent to that of sodium picosulphate + magnesium citrate in terms of grading cleansing as overall success or failure. In the proximal colon (ascending colon and caecum) PEG + Asc provided significantly better cleansing to that achieved with sodium picosulphate + magnesium citrate.

Original publication




Journal article


Curr Med Res Opin

Publication Date





481 - 488


Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Ascorbic Acid, Cathartics, Citrates, Citric Acid, Colon, Colonoscopy, Female, Health Surveys, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Organometallic Compounds, Picolines, Polyethylene Glycols, Surveys and Questionnaires, Therapeutic Irrigation