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Factors affecting duration of gastrostomy tube retention in survivors following treatment for head and neck cancer

Lookup NU author(s): Andrew Welch, Professor Vinidh Paleri


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Background: Many patients treated for head and neck cancer require nutritional support, which is often delivered using a gastrostomy tube. It is difficult to predict which patients will retain their gastrostomy tube in the long term. This study aimed to identify the factors which affect the duration of gastrostomy tube retention.Method: In this retrospective study, 151 consecutive patients from one centre were audited. All patients had a mucosal tumour of the head and neck, and underwent gastrostomy tube insertion between 2003 and 2007.Results: There were near-complete data sets for 132 patients. The gastrostomy tube was retained in survivors (n = 66) for a mean of 21.3 months and in non-survivors ( n = 66) for 11.9 months. Univariate analysis showed that co-morbidity was the only factor which significantly increased duration of gastrostomy tube retention in survivors (p = 0.041).Conclusion: Co-morbidity alone was associated with a significant increase in gastrostomy tube retention. It is suggested that co-morbidity be included as a variable in future relevant research. Co-morbidity should also be considered when counselling patients about their long-term function following cancer treatment. Gastrostomy tube retention is likely to be affected by many factors, with few single variables having importance independently.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Blanchford H, Hamilton D, Bowe I, Welch S, Kumar R, Moor JW, Welch AR, Paleri V

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Laryngology & Otology

Year: 2014

Volume: 128

Issue: 3

Pages: 263-267

Print publication date: 01/03/2014

Online publication date: 11/03/2014

Acceptance date: 20/05/2013

ISSN (print): 0022-2151

ISSN (electronic): 1748-5460

Publisher: Cambridge University Press


DOI: 10.1017/S0022215113002582


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