Poor bowel preparation results in difficult colonoscopies, missed lesions, and repeat procedures. Identifying patient risk factors for poor bowel preparation, such as prolonged runway time and prolonged cecal intubation, will aid in interventions prior to a procedure.
This was a retrospective, single‐center analysis of 3 295 colonoscopies performed between May 2012 and November 2014. Indications for colonoscopy included gastrointestinal bleed and anemia, change in bowel habits, for screening, and others (including planning re‐anastomoses, abdominal distension, family history and angioectasias). Data were collected from medical charts and endoscopy reports. Comparisons between patient factors and runway time were made with adequacy of bowel preparation as the primary outcomes.
Male and diabetic patients had statistically higher rates of inadequate bowel preparation and prolonged cecal intubation times. A previous history of abdominal surgery also demonstrated prolonged cecal intubation. A runway time of ≤7.63 h was associated with higher rates of adequate bowel preparation by multivariate analysis. The optimal time frame is 3–6 h for the highest success rates.
Patient risk factors for inadequate bowel preparation or prolonged cecal intubation should signal clinicians to intervene prior to colonoscopy. A runway time between 3 and 6 h is optimal for adequate bowel preparation. This may involve further patient education, along with work flow optimization, to facilitate ideal runway times. Future studies should explore how to avoid repeat endoscopies using protocols enforcing this timeframe.