Endoscopically Placed Nasogastrojejunal Feeding Tubes: A Safe Route for Enteral Nutrition in Patients with Hepatic Encephalopathy

Lee, Steven S.; Mathiasen, Ronald A.; Lipkin, Craig A.; Colquhoun, Steven D.; Margulies, Daniel R.
February 2002
American Surgeon;Feb2002, Vol. 68 Issue 2, p196
Academic Journal
Patients with hepatic encephalopathy are at particular risk for aspiration when given oral or gastric feedings. An ideal strategy might combine distal enteral feeding with proximal gastric decompression, which is offered by a nasogastrojejunal (NGJ) feeding tube. One objective was to determine the efficacy and safety of endoscopically placed NGJ feeding tubes in patients with hepatic encephalopathy. Charts of patients who underwent NGJ tube placements between April 1997 and January 2000 were retrospectively reviewed. Two endoscopic techniques ("push" and "pull") were used. Eighteen patients (nine male and nine female) underwent 32 procedures. Twelve patients had undergone liver transplantation, four had decompensated cirrhosis, and two had fulminant hepatic failure. Twenty procedures used the push technique and 12 required the pull technique. The insertion time was shorter for the push technique compared with the pull technique (21.8 vs 39.6 min, P < 0.05). Enteral feedings were begun at an average of 5.2 hours after tube placement. The tubes remained in place for an average of 13.9 days. Complications related to the NGJ tubes included self-removal in eight, tube clogging in five, proximal migration in four, and intraduodenal migration of the gastric port in one. No aspiration episodes occurred. We conclude that NGJ feeding tubes may be placed endoscopically as a bedside procedure for patients with hepatic encephalopathy and provide a safe, efficacious, and rapid route for enteral nutrition in these patients.


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