Objective: Malignant gastric outlet obstruction is seen in the setting of a variety of cancers, most commonly pancreatic. Self-expanding metal stents can be used to palliate these patients and restore the ability to eat.
Methods: We reviewed the Mayo Clinic experience in the endoscopic treatment of malignant gastric outlet obstruction. Thirty-six patients (26 male, 10 female) were treated between October, 1998 and January, 2001. Data were collected from charts, endoscopy reports, x-rays, and telephone calls. A scoring system was created to grade the ability to eat.
Results: All procedures were successful. Thirty-one of 36 patients (86%) required one stent at initial endoscopy, and 5/36 patients (14%) required two or more stents. Pretreatment, 19/36 patients (53%) were nil per os, 15/36 (42%) drank liquids, and 2/36 were able to eat soft solids. After stent placement, only 1/36 (3%) was still nil per os, 13/36 (36%) drank liquids, 13/36 (36%) ate soft solids, and 9/36 (25%) ate a full diet. The improvement in ability to eat using the scoring system was statistically significant (p < 0.0001). Nine of 36 patients (25%) required reintervention for recurrent symptoms. Sixteen of 36 patients (44%) had concomitant or subsequent development of biliary obstruction, of which 15 were successfully decompressed.
Conclusions: Self-expanding metal stents are a safe and efficacious method for palliating malignant gastric outlet obstruction. The majority of patients do not require reintervention, and those that do can usually be managed nonoperatively.