Optimal Timing of Simethicone Addition for Bowel Preparation Using Polyethylene Glycol Plus Ascorbic Acid

  • Haewon Kim
  • Bong Min KoEmail author
  • Hyeon Jeong Goong
  • Yun Ho Jung
  • Seong Ran Jeon
  • Hyun Gun Kim
  • Moon Sung Lee
Original Article



Colonic bubbles obscure the colonic mucosa during colonoscopy following bowel preparation with polyethylene glycol plus ascorbic acid (PEG-Asc). Simethicone is used to enhance visualization during colonoscopy. We aimed to determine the optimal timing of simethicone addition to improve bowel preparation using PEG-Asc.


This prospective, randomized study enrolled patients undergoing elective colonoscopy from April 2017 to January 2018. They were randomly assigned to one of the following three groups: PEG-Asc only (control) or simethicone addition in the morning on the day of colonoscopy (PEG-S1) or in the evening of the day prior to colonoscopy (PEG-S2). The primary outcome was the quality of colon cleansing, and the secondary outcomes were the adenoma detection rate (ADR), polyp detection rate (PDR), and diminutive (≤ 5 mm) ADR.


In total, 240 patients were randomly allocated to the three groups; six patients were withdrawn. Of the 234 patients evaluated, 78, 79, and 77 were allocated to the control, PEG-S1, and PEG-S2 groups, respectively. The bubble scores of all colonic segments were lowest in the PEG-S2 group. There was no significant difference in ADR or PDR among the three groups. However, the diminutive ADR was significantly higher in the PEG-S2 group compared to the other two groups (control 5.1% vs. PEG-S1 8.9% vs. PEG-S2 20.8%; P = 0.009).


Addition of simethicone to PEG-Asc at the optimal time prevents the formation of air bubbles and so improves the quality of bowel preparation, especially enhancing diminutive ADR.


Simethicone Bowel preparation ADR PEG 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Internal Medicine, Digestive Disease Center and Research Institute, SoonChunHyang University School of MedicineSoonChunHyang University Bucheon HospitalBucheon and SeoulKorea

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