Multiple pharmacological agents have been studied in literature with antispasmodic effect during colonoscopy. Peppermint oil, with its relaxing effect on colon has demonstrated varying results. We therefore conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of the available literature to evaluate its role during colonoscopy.
Literature search of the following databases were undertaken: PubMedMedline, Embase, Cochrane, Web of Science, and CINAHL. Outcomes that were evaluated included incidence of any spasticity, severe spasticity, and peristalsis during examination. Adenoma detection rate (ADR) was evaluated as a quality outcome metric. Risk ratios (RR), risk difference (RD) and mean difference (MD) were calculate using the DerSimonian-Laird method and random effects where applicable.
Overall 6 studies (with 1 abstract) were included in this review. Peppermint oil resulted in overall lower incidence for spasticity (RD: -0.39, P = 0.02), severe spasticity (RD: -0.15, p = 0.04), and peristalsis (-0.27, p = <0.001) during colonoscopy examination. An improved ADR (RR: 1.31, p = 0.01) was also noted, however only two studies evaluated this effect.
Peppermint oil resulted in relaxation of colon during colonoscopy with decrease incidence of spasticity, severe spasticity, peristalsis and improved ADR. These results are encouraging however results are limited due to significant heterogeneity found in the outcomes. Larger studies with standardized dosing are needed to evaluate this effect. Furthermore, studies evaluating additional colonoscopy outcomes such as polyp detection rate, advanced adenoma detection rate, and serrated adenoma detection are needed.