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Gastrojejunal Feeding Tube Use by Gastroenterologists in a Pediatric Academic Center

Al-Zubeidi, Dina*; Demir, Hulya; Bishop, Warren P.*; Rahhal, Riad M.*

Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology & Nutrition: May 2013 - Volume 56 - Issue 5 - p 523–527
doi: 10.1097/MPG.0b013e318282a8db
Original Articles: Gastroenterology

Background and Objectives: Enteral feeding through gastrojejunal (GJ) tubes is an established method of nutrition for patients with feeding difficulty who do not tolerate intragastric feedings. The pediatric literature about the long-term outcome, safety, and complications of different GJ tubes and placement methods is lacking. Our study aims to provide information about indications, techniques, and long-term outcome of GJ tube use in children.

Methods: Retrospective chart review for GJ tube placement procedures was used at our center for 10 years (1999–2009). Data collected included demographics, placement indications, underlying diagnosis, tube type, placement methods, complications, tube survival, and patient outcome.

Results: Thirty-three patients using GJ tubes were identified, with a total of 160 successful procedures documented (overall success rate of 97.6%). At initial placement, the mean age was 6 years (range 0.6–21.6) and the mean weight was 19.4 kg (range 6.6–72.2). Patients had a mean of 4.9 tubes placed per patient (range 1–20) during a follow-up of 26.8 months (range 0.4–115.3). The most common indications for replacement included accidental dislodgement, tube obstruction, coiling back into the stomach, and broken tube component. At the end of the study, 39% continued using GJ tubes, 30% were transitioned back to gastrostomy or oral feeds, and 15% underwent a surgical intervention.

Conclusions: Long-term GJ tube use is possible and safe in children. Various feeding tubes and placement methods can be used by pediatric gastroenterologists to provide long-term jejunal feeds in children.

*Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA

Section of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Riad M. Rahhal, MD, MS, Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, University of Iowa, 200 Hawkins Drive, 2868 JPP, Iowa City, IA 52242 (e-mail:

Received 11 July, 2012

Accepted 11 December, 2012

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

© 2013 by European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition and North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology,