Buy this Article for $10.95

Have a coupon or promotional code? Enter it here:

When you buy this you'll get access to the ePub version, a downloadable PDF, and the ability to print the full article.


  1. Wu, Rui MD
  2. Ji, Wen-ya MD
  3. Yang, Cheng MD, PhD
  4. Zhan, Qiang MD, PhD


The goal of this systematic review was to compare the clear liquid diet and the low-residue diet to determine which is better for bowel preparation before colonoscopy. A literature search for randomized controlled trials on the effects of employing the clear liquid diet and low-residue diets before colonoscopy was conducted in major online English databases (PubMed, Web of Science, and Ovid EMBASE). After the systematic review of all 16 studies, the outcomes including quality of bowel preparation, tolerance, willingness to repeat, and adverse effects were analyzed through meta-analysis. The statistical analysis was performed by using RevMan 5.3 software. No statistically significant difference was observed between the low-residue diet and clear liquid diet groups (odds ratio [95% confidence interval] = 1.19 [0.79, 1.81]; p = .41). There was no statistically significant difference between the Boston Bowel Preparation Scale (standard mean difference [95% confidence interval] =-0.04 [-0.21, -0.14]; p = .68) Ottawa Bowel Preparation Scale (standard mean difference [95% confidence interval] =-0.04 [-0.19, 0.11]; p = .59) scores of the two groups. The quality indicators for colonoscopy of the two groups were not statistically significant. However, patient tolerance to the low-residue diet was higher (odds ratio [95% confidence interval] = 1.86 [1.47, 2.36]; p < .01). More patients in the low-residue diet group were willing to repeat the low-residue diet for bowel preparation (odds ratio [95% confidence interval] = 2.34 [1.72, 3.17]; p < .01). More patients in the clear liquid diet group experienced hunger, nausea, and vomiting. People who employed the low-residue diet before colonoscopy had the same quality of bowel preparation as those with clear liquid diet. Meanwhile, the tolerance of people with low-residue diet was better than people with clear liquid diet, and these people were more willing to repeat the colonoscopy with less adverse events.