Prolonged use of stomach feeding tubes in children may increase risk of stomach fistulas

Pediatric patients with intestinal failure often need gastrostomy tubes, or feeding tubes inserted into an opening created in the stomach, for long-term nutrition. The use of such tubes can lead to persistent gastrocutaneous fistulae, or the failure of the opening to close on its own, resulting in a need for surgical closure.

The causes of gastrocutaneous fistulae in pediatric patients are largely unknown, but researchers at Boston Children's Hospital looked at possible risk factors, including nutrition. Their finds are published today in the OnlineFirst version of the Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (JPEN), the research journal of the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (A.S.P.E.N.).

Of all the studied, only prolonged use of a gastrostomy tube was identified with an increased likelihood of gastrocutaneous fistulae. In addition, fistulas in that persist for longer than seven days are unlikely to close.

The researchers recommend that that early operative intervention be considered after a relatively brief trial of spontaneous gastrostomy tubes site closure, especially in children who have had indwelling tubes for longer than 18 months.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Link between toddler sleep patterns and behaviour at 5

date Apr 15, 2015

Toddlers who sleep less than 10 hours a night or wake frequently are more likely to have emotional and behavioural problems at the age of five, according to a study from the Norwegian Institute of Public ...

Quality improvement intervention cuts lost OR time

date Apr 14, 2015

(HealthDay)—Significant reductions can be made in operating room (OR) time lost due to cancellation on the day of surgery (DoSC), according to a study published online April 13 in Pediatrics.

Know the signs of child abuse

date Apr 13, 2015

(HealthDay)—A report of child abuse is made every 10 seconds in the United States, and more than 1,600 children die each year from abuse or neglect, an expert says.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.