Randomized controlled trial of 3 days fasting and oral senna, combined with mannitol and simethicone, before capsule endoscopy

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Background and Study Aims:

The approach to small bowel preparation before capsule endoscopy (CE) is still suboptimal.

Patients and Methods:

One hundred eighty patients were randomly allocated to 3 groups. Patients in Group A took 250 mL 20% mannitol and 1 L 0.9% saline orally at 05:00 hours on the day of the procedure. In Group B the same preparation was taken at 20:00 on the day before, and at 05:00 on the day of CE; in addition, 20 mL oral simethicone was taken 30 minutes before CE. Group C was treated identically to Group B, except that the patients fasted for 3 days and took 3 g senna orally 3 times daily before CE. The length of bowel containing green luminal contents was assessed by ImageJ software and bowel cleanliness was evaluated by computed assessment of the cleansing score.


Cleansing of the whole small bowel and the distal small bowel were significantly different between the 3 groups (χ2 = 22.470, P = .000; χ2 = 17.029, P = .000, respectively). There were also significant differences between the 3 groups in the length of small bowel and specifically the length of the distal small bowel containing green luminal contents (χ2 = 12.390, P = .000, χ2 = 15.141, P = .000, respectively), but not with regard to the proximal small bowel (χ2 = 0.678, P = .509).


Three days fasting and oral senna, combined with 20% mannitol and simethicone, before CE, can reduce the effects of bile on the small bowel and improve small bowel cleansing, especially in the distal small intestine.

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