European Radiology

, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp 348-358

First online:

Comparison of three different iodine-based bowel regimens for CT colonography

  • Delia CampanellaAffiliated withRadiology Unit, Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment
  • , Lia MorraAffiliated withim3D S.p.A.
  • , Silvia DelsantoAffiliated withim3D S.p.A. Email author 
  • , Vincenzo TartagliaAffiliated withPresidio Ospedaliero Riunito Ciriè, ASL 4 Torino
  • , Roberto AsnaghiAffiliated withRadiologia, Fondazione Salvatore Maugeri, IRCCS, Istituto Scientifico di Veruno
  • , Alberto BertAffiliated withim3D S.p.A.
  • , Emanuele NeriAffiliated withDiagnostic and Interventional Radiology, University of Pisa
  • , Daniele ReggeAffiliated withRadiology Unit, Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment

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The aim of this study was to compare the computed tomographic colonography (CTC) image quality and patient acceptance of three iodine-based faecal tagging bowel preparations in 60 patients undergoing the following regimens: a 2-day regimen of meal-time administration of iodine and phospho-soda (GFPH); a 2-day regimen of meal-time mild laxative, followed by iodine administered 2 h before CTC (SD); and a 2-day regimen of meal-time administration of iodine (GF).


Two independent radiologists assessed tagging quality; quantitative measures included the tagged stool density, and computer-aided detection (CAD) false-positive rate.


The GFPH and SD regimens provided better subjective quality than GF (p < 0.001). The latter regimen resulted in a higher proportion of insufficiently tagged segments: the measured average stool density was less than 200 HU in 10.7% in all segments vs 3.6% for SD and <0.5% for GFPH, respectively. Insufficient tagging occurred mostly in the ascending colon and the caecum. The CAD false-positive rate increased following the trend: GFPH < SD < GF (p = 0.00012). GFPH was worse tolerated than SD (p < 0.05).


Considering preparation quality alone, GFPH was the best regimen, but SD provided the best balance between bowel preparation quality and patient acceptability.


CT colonography Faecal tagging Bowel preparation Quality assessment Computer aided detection