Cisapride or metoclopramide to accelerate small bowel transit during barium follow-through examination?
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Background: Metoclopramide is commonly used to accelerate small bowel transit during barium follow-through (BaFT) examinations, but its action is unpredictable. Cisapride, commonly used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease, also accelerates small bowel transit and may be a viable alternative. The two were compared in a prospective, randomized, blind study.
Methods: Patients attending for BaFT were randomized to receive either 10 mg cisapride or 20 mg metoclopramide orally 1 h before the barium suspension. BaFT was performed by using a standard technique, and small bowel transit and study quality were compared. Patients also noted any side effects experienced.
Results: Of 45 patients recruited, 27 received cisapride and 18 metoclopramide. Median transit time for the cisapride group was 30 min (range = 10–130 min) versus 67.5 min (range = 30–290 min) for the metoclopramide group (p= 0.019). Study quality was comparable. However, nine patients (33%) receiving cisapride experienced nausea versus only one subject (6%) receiving metoclopramide (p= 0.034).
Conclusions: This study suggests that cisapride is a more effective prokinetic agent than metoclopramide, but this benefit is offset by a higher incidence of side effects.
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