Bowel Preparation for Colonoscopy in Children


The primary objective of this study is to determine whether Miralax results in a more efficacious preparation as compared to senna for pediatric colonoscopy.

Full Title of Study: “Polyethylene Glycol Powder Solution vs Senna for Bowel Preparation for Colonoscopy in Children: A Prospective, Randomized, Investigator-Blinded Trial.”

Study Type

  • Study Type: Interventional
  • Study Design
    • Allocation: Randomized
    • Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
    • Masking: Single (Investigator)
  • Study Primary Completion Date: May 2011

Detailed Description

Study subjects will be randomized in two groups: Group one will receive 1.5 g/kg of Miralax orally the day before procedure and one day of clear liquid diet, while subjects in Group 2 will receive two doses of senna the day before procedure with two days of liquid diet (one day full liquid and one day clear liquid diet). On the day of the procedure parents/subjects will complete a questionnaire regarding prep compliance and adverse events. Electrolytes will be obtained prior to colonoscopy to monitor for electrolyte imbalance. Endoscopists will assess preparation for colonoscopy using validated cleanliness scale (Aronchick scale).


  • Drug: polyethylene glycol, senna
    • Senna dosage: Age 6-12 years: 3 teaspoons or 3 tablets by mouth 2 nights before endoscopy and 1 night before endoscopy. Age >12 years: 6 teaspoons or 6 tablets by mouth 2 nights before endoscopy and 1 night before endoscopy. A Fleet’s rectal enema is administered on the morning of the procedure. Miralax at a dose of 1.5 grams/kg divided twice a day for two days; maximum of 51 grams per dose. Dissolve each 17 grams (1 capful) PEG-P in 240 mL water or other beverage according to the manufacturer’s direction and to give the appropriate amount of PEG solution twice a day for two days.

Arms, Groups and Cohorts

  • Active Comparator: 1, Miralax
    • Miralax colonoscopy preparation
  • Active Comparator: 2, senna
    • Senna colonoscopy preparation

Clinical Trial Outcome Measures

Primary Measures

  • Efficacy of Colon Preparation
    • Time Frame: The outcome measure will be assessed once one day after the completion of colonoscopy preparation
    • Percentage of patients with excellent or good colonoscopy preparation. The efficacy of preparation is measured by using a validated colon cleanliness scale which has 5 different levels (Aronchik scale). Levels 1 and 2, which encompass excellent and good colonoscopy preparation, are routinely recognized as adequate preparation allowing for successful completion of colonoscopy. Levels 3-5 describe incomplete or poor preparation. These levels are associated with significant residual stool encountered at the time of colonoscopy.

Secondary Measures

  • Proportion of Patients With Abnormal Electrolyte Levels
    • Time Frame: The outcome measure will be assessed once one day after the completion of colonoscopy preparation
    • The outcome measure was comparison of the proportions of patients who had abnormal electrolyte levels between two groups of patients, Miralax and senna. Sodium, potassium, chloride, and carbon dioxide levels were measured in mmol/L while urea nitrogen, creatinine, glucose, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus were measured in mg/dL. Each of these values has a reference range which varies with patients’ age and sex. Minimal change of one point above or below normal reference range was dismissed as clinically insignificant. Abnormal creatinine levels were rechecked through glomerular filtration rate calculation to determine if there was any compromise in renal function since abnormal creatinine level does not mean there is renal dysfunction nor that the level is clinically significant.

Participating in This Clinical Trial

Inclusion Criteria

1. Subjects age 6-21 yrs for senna, PEG-P groups 2. Subjects age 13-21 yrs for NaP group 3. First time colonoscopy 4. Patient weight <70 kg for PEG-P group (to not exceed 51 grams/dose) Exclusion Criteria:

1. Chronic renal, liver, or heart failure 2. Chronic constipation 3. Patients on the GI inpatient or consult service. 4. Subjects taking senna or PEG on a regular basis for laxative reasons. 5. Pregnant or lactating females

Gender Eligibility: All

Minimum Age: 6 Years

Maximum Age: 21 Years

Are Healthy Volunteers Accepted: No

Investigator Details

  • Lead Sponsor
    • Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Provider of Information About this Clinical Study
    • Principal Investigator: Petar Mamula, Director, Endoscopy – Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Overall Official(s)
    • Petar Mamula, MD, Principal Investigator, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Clinical trials entries are delivered from the US National Institutes of Health and are not reviewed separately by this site. Please see the identifier information above for retrieving further details from the government database.

At, we keep tabs on over 200,000 clinical trials in the US and abroad, using medical data supplied directly by the US National Institutes of Health. Please see the About and Contact page for details.