Endoscopic evaluation of the remnant stomach after gastrectomy: proposal for a new classification
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In Japan, approximately half of gastric cancers are diagnosed in the early stage. Longer survival has been provided for patients with early gastric cancer (EGC). Several new surgical procedures have been employed for some EGCs. To compare the functional results of these techniques with those of classic distal gastrectomy, it is important to evaluate the remnant stomach in relation to quality of life (QOL) and secondary cancers. We propose a new endoscopic classification, regarding several aspects of the remnant stomach, which enables common understanding and description of the condition.
Of 651 patients who underwent a distal gastrectomy or pylorus-preserving gastrectomy (PPG), 324 had at least one upper gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy during the follow-up period. Ninety-three of the 324 patients underwent a Roux-en-Y reconstruction (RY); 175, Billroth type 1 (B1); and 56, PPG. Endoscopic findings regarding residual food, gastritis, and bile reflux in the gastric stump were investigated for these patients. We classified the amount of residual food into five grades, the degree and the extent of gastritis into five grades, and bile reflux into two grades. First, we evaluated the consistency of diagnosis between two endoscopists, in the first 200 patients, and then we applied the classification to all 324 patients to examine the usefulness of this classification.
Consistency of diagnosis was obtained between two endoscopists who classified the patients independently. The agreement rate was 98.5% for residual food, 93% for gastritis, and 100% for bile reflux. Residual food was observed in 14.0% of the RY group, 22.3% of the B1 group, and 37.5% of the PPG group. These differences were significant (RY versus B1; P < 0.05 and RY versus PPG; P < 0.01). The remnant stomach after B1 showed significantly more severe and extensive gastritis than that after RY and PPG (P < 0.01). As for bile reflux, there was no significant difference among the three groups.
The classification (RGB classification: Residue, Gastritis, Bile) can be used easily and is practical. The results suggest some important differences among methods of reconstruction. This classification seems to be useful to describe these findings and to further evaluate these reconstructive methods.