Optimal reconstruction methods after distal gastrectomy for gastric cancer: A systematic review and network meta-analysis

Medicine (Baltimore). 2018 May;97(20):e10823. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000010823.


Background: The choice of anastomosis methods including Billroth I, Billroth II, and Roux-en-Y after a distal gastrectomy is still controversial. The conventional meta-analyses assessing 2 alternative treatments were not powered to compare differences in clinical outcomes. To guide treatment decisions in patients with gastric cancer (GC) after distal gastrectomy, we did a systematic review and network meta-analysis to identify the best reconstruction method.

Methods: We systematically searched PubMed, EMBASE, the Cochrane Library for randomized controlled trials comparing the outcomes of Billroth I, Billroth II, or Roux-en-Y reconstruction after distal subtotal gastrectomy for patients with GC, then we performed a direct meta-analysis and Bayesian network meta-analysis to pooled odds ratios (OR) or weighted mean differences (WMD) with 95% credible intervals (CrI) with random effects model. The node-splitting method was used to assess the inconsistency. We estimated the potential ranking probability of treatments by calculating the surface under the cumulative ranking curve for each intervention.

Results: Nine studies involving 1161 patient were included in the network meta-analysis. Statistical significance was reached for the comparisons of Roux-en-Y versus Billroth I reconstruction (WMD 37, 95% Crl: 22-51) and Billroth II versus Billroth I reconstruction (WMD 25, 95% Crl: 5.8-43) for operation time; and Roux-en-Y versus Billroth I reconstruction (WMD 26, 95% Crl: 2.1-68) for intraoperative blood loss; and Roux-en-Y versus Billroth I reconstruction (OR 3.4, 95% Crl: 1.1-13) for delayed gastric emptying. Roux-en-Y reconstruction was superior to Billroth I and Billroth II reconstruction in terms of frequency of bile reflux (OR 0.095, 95% Crl: 0.010-0.63; OR 0.064, 95% Crl: 0.0037-0.84, respectively) and the incidence of remnant gastritis (OR 0.33, 95% Crl: 0.16-0.58; OR 0.40, 95% Crl: 0.17-0.92, respectively).

Conclusion: Roux-en-Y reconstruction is superior to Billroth I and Billroth II reconstruction in terms of preventing bile reflux and remnant gastritis, Billroth I and Billroth II anastomosis could be considered as the substitute in consideration of technical simplicity. As for postoperative morbidity and the advantage of physiological food passage, Billroth I method is the choice.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Anastomosis, Roux-en-Y* / adverse effects
  • Bile Reflux / etiology
  • Blood Loss, Surgical
  • Gastrectomy / methods*
  • Gastric Emptying
  • Gastritis / etiology
  • Gastroenterostomy* / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Network Meta-Analysis
  • Operative Time
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Stomach Neoplasms / surgery*