The variable stiffness colonoscope may have theoretical advantages over standard adult colonoscopes, though data are conflicting.
Dr Othman and colleagues from Missouri, USA conducted a meta-analysis to compare the efficacies of the variable stiffness colonoscopevariable stiffness colonoscope and standard adult colonoscope.
The research team searched Medline between 1966 and 2008.
In addition, the team identified abstracts of gastroenterology scientific meetings in the 5 years to 2008, only for randomized clinical trials of adult patients.
|Cecal intubation time was similar for the 2 colonscope types|
Trial quality was assessed using the Delphi list, and the team performed a meta-analysis with a fixed effects model.
The team measured cecal intubation rates, cecal intubation times, abdominal pain scores, sedation used, and use of ancillary maneuvers using weighted mean differences, standardized mean differences, or odds ratios.
The research team found 7 randomized clinical trials that satisfied the inclusion criteria, involving 1923 patients.
The team identified 4 trials comparing variable stiffness colonoscope with standard adult colonoscope procedures in adults, and 3 evaluating the pediatric variable stiffness colonoscope.
The team found no significant heterogeneity among the studies.
The overall trial quality was adequate.
The researchers found that the cecal intubation rate was higher with the use of variable stiffness colonoscopes.
The variable stiffness colonoscope was associated with lower abdominal pain scores, and a decreased need for sedation during colonoscopy.
Cecal intubation time was similar for the 2 colonscope types.
Because of the nature of the intervention no studies were blinded.
The team noted that there was no universal method for using the variable stiffness colonoscope.
Dr Othman’s team commented, “Compared with the standard adult colonoscope, the variable stiffness colonoscope use was associated with a higher cecal intubation rate, less abdominal pain, and decreased need for sedation.”
“However, cecal intubation times were similar for the 2 colonoscope types.”