Roux-en-Y versus Billroth-I reconstruction after distal gastrectomy for gastric cancer

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Abstract

Background: Gastric cancer is the fifth most common cancer diagnosed worldwide. Due to improved early detection rates of gastric cancer and technological advances in treatments, a significant improvement in survival rates has been achieved in people with cancer undergoing gastrectomy. Subsequently, there has been increasing emphasis on postgastrectomy syndrome (e.g. fullness, delayed emptying, and cold sweat, amongst others) and quality of life postsurgery. However, it is uncertain which types of reconstruction result in better outcomes postsurgery. Objectives: To assess the evidence on health-related quality of life and safety outcomes of Roux-en-Y and Billroth-I reconstructions after distal gastrectomy for people with gastric cancer. Search methods: We searched the Cochrane Library and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), MEDLINE, and Embase on 4 May 2021. We checked the reference lists of the included studies and contacted manufacturers and professionals in the field. There were no language restrictions. Selection criteria: Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) allocating participants to Roux-en-Y reconstruction or Billroth-I reconstruction after distal gastrectomy for gastric cancer. Data collection and analysis: Two review authors independently screened studies identified by the search for eligibility and extracted data. The primary outcomes were health-related quality of life after surgery and incidence of anastomotic leakage. The secondary outcomes included body weight loss, incidence of bile reflux, length of hospital stay, and overall morbidity. We used a random-effects model to conduct meta-analyses. We assessed risk of bias of the included studies in accordance with the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions, and the certainty of the evidence using the GRADE approach. Main results: We included eight RCTs (942 participants) in the review. One study included both cancer patients and benign disease patients such as stomach ulcers. Two studies compared Roux-en-Y, Billroth-I, and Billroth-II reconstructions, whilst the other studies compared Roux-en-Y and Billroth-I directly. For the primary outcomes, the evidence suggests that there may be little to no difference in health-related quality of life between Roux-en-Y and Billroth-I reconstruction (standardised mean difference 0.04, 95% confidence interval (CI) −0.11 to 0.18; I² = 0%; 6 studies; 695 participants; low-certainty evidence due to study limitations and imprecision). The evidence for the effect of Roux-en-Y versus Billroth-I reconstruction on the incidence of anastomotic leakage is very uncertain (risk ratio (RR) 0.63, 95% CI 0.16 to 2.53; I² = 0%; 5 studies; 711 participants; very low-certainty evidence). The incidence of anastomotic leakage was 0.6% and 1.4% in the Roux-en-Y and Billroth-I groups, respectively. For the secondary outcomes, the evidence suggests that Billroth-I reconstruction may result in little to no difference in loss of body weight compared to Roux-en-Y reconstruction (mean difference (MD) 0.41, 95% CI −0.77 to 1.59; I² = 0%; 4 studies; 541 participants; low-certainty evidence). Roux-en-Y reconstruction probably reduces the incidence of bile reflux compared to Billroth-I reconstruction (RR 0.40, 95% CI 0.25 to 0.63; I² = 22%; 4 studies; 399 participants; moderate-certainty evidence). Billroth-I reconstruction may shorten postoperative hospital stay, but the evidence for this outcome is very uncertain (MD 0.96, 95% CI 0.16 to 1.76; I² = 56%; 7 studies; 894 participants; very low-certainty evidence). Billroth-I reconstruction may reduce postoperative overall morbidity compared to Roux-en-Y reconstruction (RR 1.47, 95% CI 1.02 to 2.11; I² = 0%; 7 studies; 891 participants; low-certainty evidence). Authors' conclusions: The evidence suggests that there is little to no difference between Roux-en-Y and Billroth-I reconstruction for the outcome health-related quality of life. The evidence for the effect of Roux-en-Y versus Billroth-I reconstruction on the incidence of anastomotic leakage is very uncertain as the incidence of this outcome was low. Although the certainty of evidence was low, we found some possibly clinically meaningful differences between Roux-en-Y and Billroth-I reconstruction for short-term outcomes. Roux-en-Y reconstruction probably reduces the incidence of bile reflux into the remnant stomach compared to Billroth-I reconstruction. Billroth-I reconstruction may shorten postoperative hospital stay compared to Roux-en-Y reconstruction, but the evidence is very uncertain. Billroth-I reconstruction may reduce postoperative overall morbidity compared to Roux-en-Y reconstruction. Future trials should include long-term follow-up of health-related quality of life and body weight loss.

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Nishizaki, D., Ganeko, R., Hoshino, N., Hida, K., Obama, K., Furukawa, T. A., … Watanabe, N. (2021). Roux-en-Y versus Billroth-I reconstruction after distal gastrectomy for gastric cancer. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2021(9). https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD012998.pub2

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