, Volume 27, Issue 7, pp 959-965
Date: 08 Mar 2012

Underutilisation of the gastroscope for total colonoscopy in adults: a survey of two European countries

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Background and study aims

High caecal intubation success rates have been reported with the gastroscope in adults. We surveyed the current use of the gastroscope for total colonoscopy in adults in the UK and Greece.


A questionnaire was e-mailed to 952 members of the British Society of Gastroenterology (UK) and 478 members of the Hellenic Society of Gastroenterology (GR), enquiring as to access to a paediatric colonoscope, use of gastroscope for total colonoscopy and estimate of caecal intubation success rate.


Valid replies were 17.4% from UK and 19.7% from GR. The paediatric colonoscope was available to 106/138 (77%) UK and to only 18/86 (21%) GR respondents (p = 0.0002). Of all the UK and GR respondents, 109/138 (79%) and 68/86 (79%), respectively, did not use the gastroscope for total colonoscopy. For the use of the gastroscope for total colonoscopy, 26/29 (89%) UK and 9/18 (50%) GR users did so, while a paediatric colonoscope was also available (p = 0.001), and 3/29 (10.3%) UK and 9/18 (50%) GR users did so, whilst they had no access to a paediatric colonoscope (p = 0.001). Estimated gastroscope caecal intubation success rate was 69% (SD 0.26) UK and 46% (SD 0.36) GR, p = 0.008. Only 37% UK and 28% GR respondents used the gastroscope to examine the left colon.


The gastroscope is underutilised for total colonoscopy in both the UK and Greece. Use of the gastroscope does not appear to be related to lack of access to a paediatric colonoscope in the UK but may be in GR. Gastroscope caecal intubation success rate justifies its use where the colonoscope fails.