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.

Provided by American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition

4 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Youth are quietly losing their hearing

Aug 27, 2014

Children and teens constantly plugged into personal listening devices, such as phones, computers or music players, could be harming their ears without realizing it, says a Purdue University audiologist.

Quality childcare leads to benefits at school age

Aug 26, 2014

(Medical Xpress)—Children who receive a quality childcare experience at age 2-3 are more likely to be attentive and better able to deal with their emotions as they start school, according to new research from the University ...

Cold kids hot to trot in winter

Aug 26, 2014

(Medical Xpress)—Children are more active in winter than in spring and summer, a breakthrough Deakin University study has found.

User comments