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Use of a large-diameter 30-French venting gastrostomy tube is effective and safe for symptom palliation in patients with malignant bowel obstruction.



Treatment options for malignant bowel obstruction are limited, particularly in poor surgical candidates. Standard percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) tubes used for venting are of small caliber, limiting success. This study examines outcomes in patients who received larger-caliber 30-Fr PEGs for treatment of malignant bowel obstruction.


Retrospective chart review for all patients who received a large-caliber venting PEGs for malignant bowel obstruction in a series of patients at a single institution.


Thirty-six patients were included. The most common primary cancer diagnoses were ovarian (22%), mucinous appendiceal (19%), and colorectal (17%). Symptom relief was achieved in all patients (100%). Four patients (11%) sought medical care for recurrent symptoms due to an incorrect venting technique. Large-caliber venting PEGs were placed on the first admission for obstruction in 17 patients (47%), and were used to replace standard caliber PEGs in 8 patients because of persistent symptoms (22%). Significant ascites was observed in 12 patients (33%), but paracenteses were performed in only 3 of these patients prior to PEG placement. Most large-caliber venting PEGs were placed during hospital admission (34/36, 94%), and facilitated hospital discharge (33/34, 97%). Two significant (6%) and 2 minor adverse events (6%) occurred.


This study demonstrates the efficacy and safety of large-caliber venting PEGs for malignant bowel obstruction. This facilitated hospital discharge in almost all patients and prevented readmissions when a correct venting technique was utilized; these PEGs were also effective in patients who had failed standard PEG tube venting.

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