AIM: To investigate the electrolyte changes between 2-L polyethylene glycol with ascorbic acid 20 g (PEG-Asc) and 4-L PEG solutions. METHODS: From August 2012 to February 2013, a total of 226 patients were enrolled at four tertiary hospitals. All patients were randomly allocated to a PEG-Asc group or a 4-L PEG. Before colonoscopy, patients completed a questionnaire to assess bowel preparation-related symptoms, satisfaction, and willingness. Endoscopists assessed the bowel preparation using the Boston Bowel Preparation Scale (BBPS). In addition, blood tests, including serum electrolytes, serum osmolarity, and urine osmolarity were evaluated both before and after the procedure. RESULTS: A total of 226 patients were analyzed. BBPS scores were similar and the adequate bowel preparation rate (BBPS ≥ 6) was not different between the two groups (PEG-Asc vs 4-L PEG, 73.2% vs 76.3%, P = 0.760). Bowel preparation-related symptoms also were not different between the two groups. The taste of PEG-Asc was better (41.1% vs 16.7%, P < 0.001), and the willingness to undergo repeated bowel preparation was higher in the PEG-Asc group (73.2% vs 59.3%, P = 0.027) than in 4-L PEG. There were no significant changes in serum electrolytes in either group. CONCLUSION: In this multicenter trial, bowel preparation with PEG-Asc was better than 4-L PEG in terms of patient satisfaction, with similar degrees of bowel preparation and electrolyte changes.
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