• cecal intubation;
  • colonoscopy;
  • deep sedation


Background and Aim:  The technical performance of colonoscopy performed in deeply sedated patients differs from that performed without sedation or under minimal to moderate sedation. The aim of this study is to evaluate the factors affecting cecal intubation during colonoscopy performed under deep sedation.

Methods:  A total of 5352 consecutive subjects who underwent a screening colonoscopy as part of a health check-up between January 2008 and December 2008 at an academic hospital were reviewed. All endoscopies were performed with deep sedation using combination propofol or propofol alone. Data collected included characteristics of the patients (age, gender, body mass index, bowel habits, history of abdominal or pelvic surgery, quality of bowel preparation, and presence/absence of colonic diverticula) and characteristics of the colonoscopists (experience level, colonoscopy procedure volume, and instrument handling method). These factors were analyzed to evaluate their impact on cecal intubation rates.

Results:  The crude cecal intubation rate was 98% and the adjusted cecal intubation rate was 98.3%. The mean cecal intubation time was 5.6 ± 3.2 min. Multivariate logistic regression analysis demonstrated that patient age greater than 60 years, constipation, poor colon preparation and a two-person colonoscopy procedure were independently associated with lower cecal intubation rates.

Conclusions:  Colonoscopy performed under deep sedation by experienced colonoscopists results in high cecal intubation rates. Among the significant patient-related predictors influencing the cecal intubation, the quality of the bowel preparation was the only modifiable factor. When performed by experienced hands, the one-person method was associated with higher cecal intubation rates than the two-person method.