Layton JB, Klemmer PJ, Christiansen CF, Bomback AS, Baron JA, Sandler RS, Kshirsagar AV. Sodium phosphate does not increase risk for acute kidney injury after routine colonoscopy, compared with polyethylene glycol. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2014 Sep;12(9):1514-21.

BACKGROUND & AIMS: Oral sodium phosphate (OSP) is a common bowel purgative administered before colonoscopy; the Food and Drug Administration has warned against its use because of concerns about acute kidney injury (AKI) from the absorbed phosphate and dystrophic calcification. However, it is not clear if OSP is associated with AKI in the general population or in high-risk subgroups undergoing colonoscopy. We estimated the risk of AKI among patients undergoing a screening colonoscopy using OSP vs polyethylene glycol (PEG) for bowel cleansing in a large, US-based claims database.

METHODS: We used an insurance database to identify a cohort of patients ages 50 to 75 years who underwent screening colonoscopies as outpatients from January 2000 through November 2008 (before the Food and Drug Administration warning), receiving OSP (n = 121,266) or PEG (n = 429,430) within 30 days beforehand, without prior use of either drug. We collected data from patients for 6 months afterward to identify those who developed AKI or renal failure, or received dialysis. Adjusted and propensity score-matched hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated using Cox proportional hazards models. We investigated the effects in subgroups with higher AKI risk (patients with chronic kidney disease, kidney stones, hypertension, or diabetes, or using antihypertensive or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).

RESULTS: AKI occurred in 0.2% of OSP users and in 0.3% of PEG users (adjusted HR, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.75-0.99). OSP users matched well with PEG users, producing similar estimates (HR, 0.85; 95% CI, 0.72-1.01). We did not observe a consistent increase in the risk of AKI or other outcomes in any subgroups analyzed.

CONCLUSIONS: In a large database analysis, we did not associate administration of OSP before colonoscopy with increased risk of postprocedure AKI, even in high-risk clinical subgroups.

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