Kantonsspital St.Gallen

Caffeine for intestinal transit after laparoscopic colectomy: randomized clinical trial (CaCo trial)

Fariba Abbassi, Sascha A Müller, Thomas Steffen, Bruno Schmied, Rene Warschkow, Ulrich Beutner & Ignazio Tarantino


Coffee has been suggested to help postoperative gastrointestinal motility but the mechanism is not known. This trial assessed whether caffeine shortened time to bowel activity after laparoscopic colectomy.

This was a single-centre, randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled superiority trial (October 2015 to August 2020). Patients aged at least 18 years undergoing elective laparoscopic colectomy were assigned randomly to receive 100 mg or 200 mg caffeine, or a placebo (250 mg corn starch) three times a day orally. The primary endpoint was the time to first bowel movement. Secondary endpoints included colonic transit time, time to tolerance of solid food, duration of hospital stay, and perioperative morbidity.

Sixty patients were assigned randomly to either the 200-mg caffeine group (20 patients), the 100-mg caffeine group (20) or the placebo group (20). In the intention-to-treat analysis, the mean(s.d.) time to first bowel movement was 67.9(19.2) h in the 200-mg caffeine group, 68.2(32.2) h in the 100-mg caffeine group, and 67.3(22.7) h in the placebo group (P = 0.887). The per-protocol analysis and measurement of colonic transit time confirmed no measurable difference with caffeine.

Caffeine was not associated with reduced time to first bowel movement.

NCT02510911 (http://www.clinicaltrials.gov).
citation Abbassi F, Müller S A, Steffen T, Schmied B, Warschkow R, Beutner U, Tarantino I. Caffeine for intestinal transit after laparoscopic colectomy: randomized clinical trial (CaCo trial). Br J Surg 2022;.
type journal paper/review (English)
date of publishing 01-08-2022
journal title Br J Surg
ISSN electronic 1365-2168
PubMed 35909263
DOI 10.1093/bjs/znac265