GOALS: To test the hypothesis that water exchange (WE), when compared with carbon dioxide (CO2) insufflation, significantly reduces the right colon adenoma miss rate (rAMR) in a blinded randomized controlled trial with cap-assisted colonoscopy. BACKGROUND: The unblinded consecutive group observational data showed that WE significantly decreased rAMR. The unblinded data are limited by potential bias. STUDY: Consecutive patients aged 45 years or more were randomized to undergo insertion with WE or CO2. Withdrawal and polypectomy were performed with CO2 in both groups to the hepatic flexure. The colonoscope was reinserted to the cecum. A second colonoscopist re-examined the right colon. The second colonoscopist was unaware, but made a guess, of the initial insertion method. The number of additional adenomas divided by the total number detected in both examinations equaled rAMR. RESULTS: Among 262 patients (131/group), demographic variables were similar. The body mass index was significantly higher in the WE group. Compared with CO2, WE significantly decreased rAMR [18.0% (33/183) vs. 34.6% (62/179), P=0.0025] and right colon serrated polyp miss rate [17.4% (27/155) vs. 39.3% (33/84), P=0.002]. Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that WE was an independent predictor of rAMR (odds ratio, 0.42; 95% confidence interval, 0.21-0.86), and so was ≥2 adenomas in the right colon (odds ratio, 2.35; 95% confidence interval, 1.17-4.76). Whether the second colonoscopist guessed the insertion method correctly or not, and demographic and procedure variables were not associated with rAMR. CONCLUSIONS: The randomized controlled trial validated unblinded observational data showing that WE significantly decreased rAMR and right colon serrated polyp miss rate (clinical trial registration number: NCT03845933).
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