Original Article

Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 54, Issue 9, pp 1997-2001

First online:

Pilot Feasibility Study of the Method of Water Infusion Without Air Insufflation in Sedated Colonoscopy

  • Joseph W. LeungAffiliated withSection of Gastroenterology, Sacramento VA Medical Center, VANCHCSDivision of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, UC Davis Medical Center
  • , Rodolei SaleraAffiliated withSection of Gastroenterology, Sacramento VA Medical Center, VANCHCS
  • , Lee ToomsenAffiliated withSection of Gastroenterology, Sacramento VA Medical Center, VANCHCS
  • , Surinder MannAffiliated withSection of Gastroenterology, Sacramento VA Medical Center, VANCHCS
  • , Felix W. LeungAffiliated withSepulveda Ambulatory Care Center, VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare SystemDavid Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA Email author 

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One study in sedated patients demonstrated a reduction in pain score but not midazolam dosage when warm water infusion was used to manage colonic spasm. We describe pilot data with a modified warm water infusion technique. We tested the hypothesis that patients receiving even only half of the usual dose of sedation medications would have acceptable cecal intubation and tolerate the procedure well, based on retrospective review of prospectively collected data from a single Veterans Affairs (VA) medical center. Group 1 included 32 consecutive patients who received full-dose and group 2 included 43 consecutive patients who received half-dose premedication. Insertion of colonoscope was aided by warm water infusion in lieu of air insufflation. Pain scores during insertion, cecal intubation rate, and total amount of medications were monitored. The novel technique permitted equal cecal intubation rate at reduced total dose of medications. Pain scores were not significantly different. The uncontrolled nonrandomized observational nature of the data is one limitation. The nonsignificant difference in pain scores may be affected by a type II error. These pilot data suggest that insertion is feasible without air when water infusion is used. The novel technique may be a useful adjunct for minimizing the dosage of sedation medications without adversely affecting cecal intubation. Further study is needed to compare air insufflation and water infusion with regard to patient tolerance and success, particularly in the presence of an on-demand sedation policy.


Colonoscopy Water infusion CRC screening Medication Sedation Warm water infusion