Impact of Specific Bowel Symptoms on Quality of Life in Patients with Midgut Neuroendocrine Tumours

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Introduction: Patients with midgut neuroendocrine tumours (NETs) suffer from decreased health-related quality of life (HRQoL), in large part due to bowel symptoms. However, it is unknown which bowel symptoms affect HRQoL the most. An enhanced understanding of this is essential to better focus treatment on this aspect of the disease. This study aimed to determine which bowel symptoms affect HRQoL the most in patients with midgut NETs. Methods: Consenting patients with midgut NET completed the Memorial Sloan Kettering Bowel Function Instrument and the HRQoL questionnaire (EORTC QLQ-C30). The correlation between bowel symptoms and HRQoL was analysed using multiple linear regression, adjusting for age, Charlson Comorbidity Index score, presence of metastatic disease, chromogranin A, and BMI yielding ß-coefficients with 95% confidence intervals. Results: Totally, 119 patients with midgut NET completed the questionnaires and were included in the study. Loose stool and bowel frequency ≥ 3/day were the most common bowel symptoms, reported by 47% and 56% of patients, respectively. However, sensitivity to certain types of food and beverages, a feeling of incomplete emptying of the bowel, and soiling were the symptoms most strongly correlated with decreased HRQoL, especially within domains concerning role and social function, with ß-coefficients for the strongest correlated symptoms of 15.0 and 14.6, respectively. Discussion: While symptoms concerning stool consistency and frequency are common in patients with midgut NET, our study suggests that other, more socially stigmatising symptoms affect patients’ HRQoL more. Our findings could help caregivers understand patients’ perceptions of the disease and provide avenues for more directed therapies.


External organisations
  • Ystad Hospital
  • Skåne University Hospital
  • Lund University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Original languageEnglish
JournalWorld Journal of Surgery
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2021 May 9
Publication categoryResearch