A systematic review of prophylactic antimicrobials in PEG placement

J Clin Nurs. 2009 Apr;18(7):938-48. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2008.02585.x. Epub 2008 Nov 29.


Aim: To establish whether prophylactic systemic antimicrobials reduce the risk of peristomal infection in placement of percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomies.

Background: Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomies, placed surgically through the anterior abdominal wall, maintain nutrition in the short or long term. Those undergoing percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy placement are often vulnerable to infection. The increasing incidence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus contributes an additional risk to the debate surrounding antibiotic prophylaxis. The aim of antimicrobial prophylaxis is to establish a bactericidal concentration of an antimicrobial drug in the patient, during placement.

Design: Systematic review.

Methods: We searched the Cochrane Wounds Group Specialised Register (July 2006); The Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (The Cochrane Library 2006, Issue 2); handsearched wound care journals, relevant conference proceedings and bibliographies of publications identified, and contacted manufacturers and distributors of percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy products. Randomised controlled trials were selected evaluating the use of prophylactic antimicrobials for percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy placement, with no restrictions for language, date or publication status. Both authors performed data extraction and assessment of study quality. Meta-analysis was performed where appropriate.

Results: Ten eligible randomised controlled trials were identified evaluating prophylactic antimicrobials in 1100 patients. All trials reported peristomal infection as an outcome and a pooled analysis resulted in a statistically significant reduction in the incidence of peristomal infection with prophylactic antibiotics (pooled OR 0.31, 95% CI 0.22-0.44). The relative reduction in risk of infection for those given antibiotics was 19% with the need to treat 5.8 patients to prevent one infection - NNT.

Conclusions: Administration of systemic prophylactic antibiotics for percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy placement reduces peristomal infection.

Relevance to clinical practice: The nurse's role in endoscopy is expanding rapidly and demands that practice is based on the best available evidence. This systematic review seeks to make a contribution to best practice in percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy placement.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Antibiotic Prophylaxis / methods*
  • Antibiotic Prophylaxis / nursing
  • Benchmarking
  • Gastroscopy / adverse effects*
  • Gastroscopy / nursing
  • Gastrostomy / adverse effects*
  • Gastrostomy / nursing
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Intubation, Gastrointestinal / adverse effects*
  • Intubation, Gastrointestinal / nursing
  • Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus
  • Nurse's Role
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Research Design
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk Reduction Behavior
  • Staphylococcal Infections / epidemiology
  • Staphylococcal Infections / etiology
  • Staphylococcal Infections / prevention & control
  • Surgical Wound Infection / epidemiology
  • Surgical Wound Infection / etiology
  • Surgical Wound Infection / prevention & control
  • Treatment Outcome