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

July 3, 2014

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.

Explore further: Revisions needed for current IV feeding safeguards against bloodstream infections

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Should more kids have their tonsils out?

January 17, 2017

(HealthDay)—Because of stringent tonsillectomy guidelines, some kids who could benefit from tonsil removal surgery aren't getting it, two new reviews suggest.

Teens unlikely to be harmed by moderate digital screen use

January 13, 2017

Parents and pediatricians alike may worry about the effects of teens' screen time, but new findings from over 120,000 adolescents in the UK indicate that the relationship between screen time and well-being is weak at best, ...

0 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.