Do GIs still need to prescribe a clear-liquid diet before a colonoscopy?


A low-residue diet is a viable alternative to clear-liquid diet preparation, and gastroenterologists should be paying more attention to it, said David Johnson, MD, chief of gastroenterology at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk.

Dr. Johnson spoke with Medscape on replacing a clear-liquid diet with a low-residue diet.

He was part of an earlier U.S. Multi-Society Task Force that recommended a low-residue diet as an option for patients, but he said, "It hasn't received as much traction as I think it should."

He then referenced a recent study from China that showed there was no difference in bowel preparation between a clear-liquid diet and a low-residue diet. Both groups had similar rates of polyp and high-risk adenoma detection and cecal intubation. However, the lower-residue group had fewer adverse events related to things like nausea and headaches than the clear-diet group.

About 50 percent of patients have said they wouldn't repeat a colonoscopy because of the clear-liquid diet.

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