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Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology
Volume 25 (2011), Issue 4, Pages 201-206
Original Article

Risk Factors and Complications Following Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy: A Case Series of 1041 Patients

Hans-Jürgen Richter-Schrag,1 Sabine Richter,1 Olaf Ruthmann,1 Manfred Olschewski,2 Ulrich Theodor Hopt,1 and Andreas Fischer1

1Department of General and Visceral Surgery, University Hospital of Freiburg, Albert-Ludwigs University, Germany
2Department of Medical Biometry and Statistics, University Medical Center Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany

Received 8 December 2009; Accepted 12 October 2010

Copyright © 2011 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


BACKGROUND: Most studies exclude patients with severe coagulation disorders or those taking anticoagulants when evaluating the outcomes of percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG).

OBJECTIVE: To investigate complications and risk factors of PEG in a large clinical series including patients undergoing antiplatelet and anticoagulant therapy.

METHODS: During a six-year period, 1057 patients referred for PEG placement were prospectively audited for clinical outcome. Exclusion criteria and follow-up care were defined. Complications were defined as minor or severe. Uni- and multivariate analyses were used to evaluate 14 risk factors. No standardized antibiotic prophylaxis was given.

RESULTS: A total of 1041 patients (66% male, 34% female) with the following conditions underwent PEG: neurogenic dysphagia (n=450), cancer (n=385) and others (n=206). No anticoagulants were administered to 351 patients, thrombosis prophylaxis was given to 348 while full therapeutic anticoagulation was received by 313. No increased bleeding risk was associated with patients who had above-normal international normalized ratio values (OR 0.79 [95% CI 0.08 to 7.64]; P=1.00). The total infection rate was 20.5% in patients with malignant disease, and 5.5% in those with nonmalignant disease. Severe complications occurred in 19 patients (bleeding 0.5%, peritonitis 1.3%). Cirrhosis (OR 2.91 [95% CI 1.31 to 6.54]; P=0.008), cancer (OR 2.34 [95% CI 1.33 to 4.12]; P=0.003) and radiation therapy (OR 2.34 [95% CI 1.35 to 4.05]; P=0.002) were significant predictors of post-PEG infection. The 30-day mortality rate was 5.8%. There were no procedure-related deaths.

CONCLUSIONS: Cancer, cirrhosis and radiation therapy were predictors of infection. Post-PEG bleeding and other complications were rare events. Collectively, the data suggested that patients taking concurrent anticoagulants had no elevated risk of post-PEG bleeding.