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Endoscopy. 1999 Feb;31(2):119-24.

Antibiotic prophylaxis in percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG): a prospective randomized clinical trial.

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Department of Medicine II, Klinikum der Landeshauptstadt Wiesbaden, Germany.



The most frequent complication reported for percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) is peristomal wound infection which occurs in as many as 30 % of patients. In the studies published so far, the question of whether antibiotic prophylaxis reduces the incidence of peristomal wound infection has remained controversial. We therefore conducted a prospective, randomized trial to determine whether antibiotic prophylaxis can reduce the incidence of peristomal wound infection associated with PEG.


During a 2-year-period a total of 347 patients (251 men, 96 women; mean age 60.2+/-5) were included in our study. In all cases, a 9-French gauge Freka gastrostomy tube was inserted using the "pull" technique. The patients were randomly assigned to three different treatment groups (group 1, antibiotic prophylaxis with 2 g cefotaxime; group 2, antibiotic prophylaxis with 4g piperacillin plus 0.5g tazobactam; group 3, no antibiotic prophylaxis). For a period of one week after gastrostomy, the peristomal area was evaluated using a wound score. According to the score, peristomal infections were classified as being of degree I-IV. Infections of up to degree III were regarded as minor, while an infection of degree IV was defined as a severe complication.


PEG tubes were successfully placed in 336/347 patients (97 %). Of the 336 patients, 29 were excluded because of incomplete follow up (dropout rate 9%). Cases included were: in group 1, n = 101; in group 2, n = 100, and in group 3, n = 106. There was no mortality related to PEG insertion. There were five instances of severe complications (1.6%). Patients who received antibiotic prophylaxis had mean daily combined wound scores that were significantly lower than those of patients without antibiotic prophylaxis (P < 0.01). The control group (no antibiotic prophylaxis) exhibited significantly more peristomal wound infections of degree III (n = 8) than antibiotic prophylaxis group 1 (n = 0, P < 0.001) or antibiotic prophylaxis group 2 (n = 1, P < 0.012). Three patients in group 3 (no antibiotic prophylaxis) and one patient in group 2 developed peritonitis.


Severe wound infections requiring medical or endoscopic intervention are very rare events after PEG insertion. Antibiotic prophylaxis significantly reduces the risk of peristomal wound infection associated with PEG insertion. Antibiotic prophylaxis, therefore, is to be recommended as a general measure in percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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