Home enteral nutrition in children: an 11-year experience with 416 patients

Clin Nutr. 2005 Feb;24(1):48-54. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2004.07.004.


Background & aims: We report our experience of paediatric home enteral nutrition, as there is little detailed evidence published.

Methods: All patients younger than 18 years commencing treatment between January 1990 and December 2000 were included in this retrospective study.

Results: The study covered 416 children and adolescents, corresponding to a total of 243,844 days of home enteral nutrition (HEN). The mean (+/-SD) age of patients commencing treatment was 5.4+/-5.3 years (range 0.1-17.8). Indications were digestive disorders in 35% of patients, neurological and muscular disorders in 35%, malignancy in 11%, failure to thrive in 8%, and miscellaneous ailments in 9%. Enteral feeding comprised commercially available paediatric industrial diets in 36%, adult-type diet in 35% and infant formulas in 29%. Children received enteral feeding by nasogastric tube (53%), or gastrostomy (41%). A mechanical pump was used in 98% of the patients. The mean duration of treatment was 595+/-719 days.

Conclusions: HEN can be used while treating a large group of chronic diseases of children. It can be started very early in life and is often prolonged over several years.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Distribution
  • Child
  • Child Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chronic Disease / therapy*
  • Enteral Nutrition* / methods
  • Enteral Nutrition* / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Gastrostomy / methods
  • Home Care Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Intubation, Gastrointestinal / methods
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome