Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy with and without jejunal extension in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

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Abstract

Background and aims

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal degenerative disease of the motor nervous system, which is associated with severe loss of weight. Enteral nutrition through percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) or percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy with jejunal extension (PEG-J) is generally recommended upon disease progression. There is no standard endoscopic method that should preferentially be performed. The aim of this study was to compare the number of adverse events, complication-free survival (CFS), and overall survival (OS) in patients who received PEG or PEG-J.

Patients and methods

All patients with ALS presenting for PEG or PEG-J placement to the Endoscopic Unit of Hannover Medical School, Germany, between 2009 and 2015 were retrospectively analyzed.

Results

Demographics were similar for patients receiving PEG (n=43) and PEG-J (n=39). The median intervention time and the absolute dose of propofol were significantly longer and, respectively, higher for patients with PEG-J (P=0.001 and 0.013). Intervention-related complications leading to hospitalization were significantly more frequent in patients who received PEG-J (36 vs. 4, P=0.001). The median CFS was significantly shorter in patients who received PEG-J compared with PEG (5 vs. 14 months, P=0.007). There was no difference in OS.

Conclusion

Intervention-related complications were more frequent and the median CFS was shorter in patients who received PEG-J, whereas there was no difference in OS. Given the poor prognosis of patients with ALS, our data provide first evidence that PEG might be the better tolerable option, with fewer complications. The decision on which nutritional system is implanted should be evaluated individually.

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