488P - A retrospective audit on usage of oral water soluble contrast in patients with known advanced cancer

Date 18 December 2016
Event ESMO Asia 2016 Congress
Session Poster lunch
Topics Palliative Care
Imaging, Diagnosis and Staging
Presenter Sharon Heng
Citation Annals of Oncology (2016) 27 (suppl_9): ix157-ix160. 10.1093/annonc/mdw595
Authors S. Heng1, J. Hardy1, P. Good2
  • 1Palliative And Supportive Care Services, Mater Hospital Brisbane, 4101 - South Brisbane/AU
  • 2Palliative Care Services, St Vincent's Private Hospital, 4169 - Brisbane/AU



Malignant bowel obstruction (MBO) and constipation are common conditions in advanced cancer. Oral water soluble contrast (Gastrografin®) has been used in the management of both these conditions without good quality evidence of its effectiveness and safety. This audit aimed to assess the usage, effectiveness and adverse effects of Gastrografin® in patients with advanced cancer.


A retrospective clinical chart review was undertaken on all patients with known advanced cancer admitted to Mater Health Services and St Vincent’s Private Hospital Brisbane between January 2013 and October 2015 who were administered Gastrografin®.


Seventy one patients received Gastrografin®. The most common diagnoses were ovarian cancer or primary peritoneal cancer (33.8%). Gastrografin® was most commonly used for bowel obstruction (59.2%). The median dose used per patient episode was 50 millilitres (ml) (range 15 – 500 ml). The timing of imaging post-Gastrografin® varied widely but most had imaging 4-24 hour post dose (45%). Of these, Gastrografin® was present in the large bowel in 75% of images. MBO or constipation resolved in 90% of patients post dose. The most common adverse effect related to Gastrografin® was diarrhoea (14%).


Most clinicians used 50 ml of Gastrografin® as a single dose and repeated imaging after 4-24 hours. Gastrografin® was well-tolerated and may be effective in resolving malignant bowel obstruction and constipation in patients with advanced cancer. Higher quality controlled studies are needed to further guide the use of Gastrografin® in MBO and constipation in patients with advanced cancer.

Clinical trial indentification

not applicable as low and negligible risk audit

Legal entity responsible for the study

Mater Research Governance Office




All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.