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  1. Scott, Sherrie R. MSN, RN
  2. Raymond, Patricia L. MD, FACP, FACG
  3. Thompson, William O. PhD
  4. Galt, Deborah J. B. LVT


Bowel cleansing regimens commonly require adherence to liquid diets for 24 to 48 hours before examination, which often leads to poor compliance, reduced cleansing, and ultimately inadequate examinations. The authors investigated the efficacy and tolerability of diet liberalization before bowel cleansing with sodium phosphates oral solution.


Two hundred patients were randomized into two treatment groups. One group received the standard light breakfast followed by clear liquids the day before colonoscopy; the second had a normal breakfast followed by a low-residue lunch the day before colonoscopy. Both groups had the same bowel preparation with sodium phosphates oral solution (2 x 45-mL, 7 p.m./6 a.m.). There was no difference in clinical efficacy between the two diet regimens (excellent/good in 93% standard, 95% low-residue). Fewer patients receiving the low-residue diet reported hunger, and more patients receiving the low-residue regimen reported energy to perform usual activities. This study supports offering patients a regular breakfast and a low-residue lunch before bowel cleansing with sodium phosphates oral solution.