Many patients with malignant gastroduodenal obstruction have an unresectable primary lesion and distant metastases, which may prompt palliative management to allow the patient to eat and to improve the quality of life. Intraluminal metallic stent implantation (MSI) under fluoroscopic guidance has been reported to be an effective option for symptomatic relief in these patients, with a good safety record. An alternative, dual interventional therapy (DIT), has been used during the last decade, in which prosthesis insertion is followed by intra-arterial chemotherapy via the tumor-feeding arteries. The aim of this study was to compare success rates, complication rates, and survival time between MSI and DIT in patients who presented with gastroduodenal obstruction from advanced upper gastrointestinal tract cancer. All consecutive patients with malignant gastroduodenal obstruction seen at our center between October 2002 and August 2007 were retrospectively studied. Patients were treated palliatively by either MSI or DIT by the patient’s or the next of kin’s decision. Outcomes included technical and clinical success, complication rates, and survival. Of the 164 patients with malignant gastric and duodenal outlet obstructions, 80 (49%) underwent stent insertion as the primary therapy, while the remaining 84 (51%) received DIT. Clinical characteristics were similar between the two groups. In the MSI cohort initial stent implantation was successful in 73 patients (91%), two stents were used in 5 patients, and delayed additional stent insertion for stent obstruction related to tumor overgrowth was required in 3 patients during follow-up. In the DIT cohort the technical success rate was 94%, 3 patients required two stents, and stent obstruction occurred in 2 patients after initial stent placement. Early postprocedural clinical success, indicated by average dysphagia score, improved significantly in both groups: MSI group, from 4.56 to 1.51 (P < 0.01); and DIT group, from 4.38 to 1.48 (p < 0.01). There were no short-term complications. Late complications including hematemesis (n = 3), migration (n = 12), and stent occlusion due to tumor overgrowth (n = 5) were evenly distributed between the groups. In the DIT group chemotherapy-induced neutropenia and transient renal dysfunction were detected in six patients, which improved after symptomatic management. Mean survival time after the procedure was 5.9 and 11.1 months for MSI and DIT, respectively (P < 0.001). In conclusion, both MSI and DIT offer effective palliation for malignant gastroduodenal obstruction, but DIT appears to offer superior survival over MSI alone. Ideally, a prospective randomized trial comparing these two techniques should be carried out to validate this result.
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We thank S. O. Trerotola, M.D., University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia, for editorial assistance in checking and revising the manuscript.
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