Background and Objectives: Nourishing a child undergoing bone marrow transplant (BMT) is essential, but the optimal method to achieve this is not established. The objectives of the study were to investigate the incidence and risk factors for complications of gastrostomy tubes in patients with BMT.
Methods: A retrospective chart review was conducted of pediatric patients who received a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) either for BMT or for other indications during a 3-year period. Occurrences of complications, absolute neutrophil count (ANC) at time of PEG placement, and ANC at time of complication were reviewed for both BMT and the comparison group.
Results: Of the 11 subjects in the BMT group, 4 (36%) had a major complication of infection related to PEG and 3 of those required PEG removal. Two of the 4 subjects who developed a major complication were moderately neutropenic at the time of PEG placement and all subjects were neutropenic at the time of complication. Of the 30 subjects in the comparison group, only 1 (2.8%) had a major complication with cellulitis. There were no statistically significant differences between the 2 groups before PEG placement for age, weight, albumin, or white blood cell count. The incidence of complication in BMT compared with the comparison group was significant (P = 0.01).
Conclusions: Our findings support that ANC should be considered before placement of PEG, significant neutropenia may be a contraindication for PEG placement in BMT patients, and other modalities for nutrition support might need to be considered.