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 21 November 2017

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News

Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy does not prolong survival in dementia patients

Patients with dementia, who receive artificial feeding via PEG tube do not have prolonged survival, find researchers in the latest issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

News image

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Artificial feeding by a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) tube in patients with dementia has increased. However, survival benefits from this intervention are unknown.

In this study, researchers from Washington, DC, review their experience with PEG tube placement for feeding patients with dementia.

Median survival:
- PEG = 59 days
- No PEG = 60 days
Archives of Internal Medicine

All consultations for PEG tube placement were evaluated by a nutrition support nurse and gastroenterology physician for 24 months.

The team evaluated a number of variables, including medical history, physical examination, comorbid conditions, nutrition status, and bleeding risk.

They also interviewed patients or surrogates, providing an explanation of the risks and benefits of PEG tube placement.

The researchers then compared median survival between patients received a PEG tube and those who refused PEG tube placement.

Overall, the team received 41 consultations for PEG tube placement in patients with dementia, and was performed in 23 patients.

An additional 18 patients met the medical criteria for PEG tube placement, but surrogates refused placement.

The researchers found that median survival for patients who underwent PEG was 59 days. The median survival for the patients who did not undergo PEG was 60 days.

Lynne Murphy's team concluded, "There seems to be no survival benefit in patients with dementia who receive artificial feeding by a PEG tube".

Arch Intern Med 2003; 163: 1351-3
12 June 2003

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