Digestive Disease Interventions 2020; 04(03): 311-322
DOI: 10.1055/s-0040-1718390
Review Article

Malignant Gastrointestinal Obstruction: Options for Decompression and Nutrition

Robert J. Litwin
1  Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas
Johanna L. Chan
2  Department of Gastroenterology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas
Steven Y. Huang
3  Department of Interventional Radiology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas
› Author Affiliations


Malignant bowel obstruction (MBO) is a relatively common condition affecting patients with advanced malignancy. Therapeutic interventions should be aimed at maintaining quality of life. Given the lack of prospective controlled studies in this patient population, patient management is often based on local practice patterns and anecdotal experience. To foster a collaborative approach among the members of the patient care team involving internal medicine, oncology, palliative care, clinical nutrition, surgery, gastroenterology, and interventional radiology physicians, it is important to improve our understanding of MBO. The purpose of this article is to describe the clinical presentation, pathophysiology, as well as medical, surgical, and nonsurgical palliative options available to patients with MBO for purposes of decompression and nutrition.

Publication History

Received: 11 May 2020

Accepted: 30 July 2020

Publication Date:
30 September 2020 (online)

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