Palliative surgical bypass is superior to palliative endoscopic stenting in patients with malignant gastric outlet obstruction: systematic review and meta-analysis

Surg Endosc. 2019 Oct;33(10):3153-3164. doi: 10.1007/s00464-019-06955-z. Epub 2019 Jul 22.


Background: Gastrojejunostomy (GJ) and self-expanding metal stents (SEMS) are the two most common palliative treatment options for patients with malignant gastric outlet obstruction (GOO). Randomised trials and retrospective studies have shown discrepant results, so that there is still a controversy regarding the optimal treatment of GOO.

Methods: Medline, Web of Science and Cochrane Library were systematically searched for studies comparing GJ to SEMS in patients with malignant GOO. Primary outcomes were survival and postoperative mortality. Secondary outcomes were frequency of re-interventions, major complications, time to oral intake and length of hospital stay.

Results: Twenty-seven studies, with a total of 2.354 patients, 1.306 (55.5%) patients in the SEMS and 1.048 (44.5%) patients in the GJ group, were considered suitable for inclusion. GJ was associated with significantly longer survival than SEMS (mean difference 43 days, CI 12.00, 73.70, p = 0.006). Postoperative mortality (OR 0.55, CI 0.27, 1.16, p = 0.12) and major complications (OR 0.73, CI 0.5, 1.06, p = 0.10) were similar in both groups. The frequency of re-interventions, however, was almost three times higher in the SEMS group (OR 2.95, CI: 1.70, 5.14, p < 0.001), whereas the mean time to oral intake and length of hospital stay were shorter in the SEMS group (mean differences - 5 days, CI - 6.75, - 3.05 days, p < 0.001 and - 10 days, CI - 11.6, - 7.9 days, p < 0.001, respectively).

Conclusions: Patients with malignant GOO and acceptable performance status should be primarily considered for a palliative GJ rather than SEMS.

Keywords: Endoscopic stenting; Malignant GOO; Meta-analysis; Surgical bypass.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Digestive System Neoplasms / complications*
  • Eating
  • Endoscopy, Gastrointestinal*
  • Gastric Bypass*
  • Gastric Outlet Obstruction / etiology
  • Gastric Outlet Obstruction / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay
  • Palliative Care*
  • Stents*