A retrospective audit on usage of Diatrizoate Meglumine (Gastrografin®) for intestinal obstruction or constipation in patients with advanced neoplasms

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Abstract

Background:

Intestinal obstruction and constipation are common conditions in patients with advanced neoplasms. Diatrizoate Meglumine has been used in the management of both these conditions without good quality evidence of its effectiveness and safety.

Aim:

This audit aimed to assess the usage, effectiveness and adverse effects of Diatrizoate Meglumine for intestinal obstruction and constipation in patients with advanced neoplasms.

Design:

A retrospective chart review was undertaken. Descriptive statistics were utilised.

Setting/participants:

All patients with known advanced neoplasms admitted to Mater Health Services and St Vincent’s Private Hospital Brisbane between January 2013 and October 2015; who were administered Diatrizoate Meglumine were included.

Results:

Seventy-one patients received Diatrizoate Meglumine. The most common diagnoses were ovarian or primary peritoneal neoplasms (33.8%). Diatrizoate Meglumine was most commonly used for intestinal obstruction (59.2%). The median dose used per patient episode was 50 mL (range: 15–500 mL). Thirty-two patients (45%) had imaging 4–24 h post-dose with Diatrizoate Meglumine being present in the large intestine in 75% of these images. Intestinal obstruction or constipation resolved in 90% of patients post-dose.

Conclusion:

Most clinicians used 50 mL of Diatrizoate Meglumine as a single dose and repeated imaging after 4–24 h. Diatrizoate Meglumine was well tolerated and may be effective in resolving intestinal obstruction and constipation in patients with advanced neoplasms. Quality controlled studies are needed to further guide the use of Diatrizoate Meglumine in intestinal obstruction and constipation in patients with advanced neoplasms.

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