Transnasal endoscopic placement of nasoenteric feeding tubes: outcomes and limitations in non-critically ill patients

Nutr Clin Pract. 2008 Apr-May;23(2):176-81. doi: 10.1177/0884533608314535.


Transnasal endoscopic placement of nasoenteric tubes (NETs) has been demonstrated to be useful in the critical care setting, with limited data on its role in non-critically ill patients. The authors collected data on consecutive patients from a non-critical care setting undergoing transnasal endoscopic NET placement. All NETs were endoscopically placed using a standard over-the-guidewire technique, and positions were confirmed with fluoroscopy. Patients were monitored until the removal of NETs or death. Twenty-two patients (median age = 62.5 years, 36.4% female) were referred for postpyloric feeding, with main indications of persistent gastrocutaneous fistula (n = 6), gastroparesis or gastric outlet obstruction (n = 5), duodenal stenosis (n = 6), acute pancreatitis (n = 4), and gastroesophageal reflux after surgery (n = 1). Postpyloric placement of NET was achieved in 19 of 22 (86.3%) patients, with 36.8% tube positions in the jejunum, 47.4% in the distal duodenum, and 15.8% in the second part of the duodenum. NET placement was least successful in cases with duodenal stenosis. NETs remained in situ for a median of 24 days (range, 2-94), with tube dislodgement (n = 3) and clogging (n = 5) as the main complications. NET feeding resulted in complete healing of gastrocutaneous fistulae in 5 of 6 patients and provision of total enteral nutrition in 3 of 4 cases of acute pancreatitis and 9 of 11 cases of gastroparesis or proximal duodenal obstruction. Transnasal endoscopy has a role in the placement of NET in non-critically ill patients requiring postpyloric feeding. However, there are some limitations, particularly in cases with altered duodenal anatomy.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Endoscopy, Digestive System / methods*
  • Enteral Nutrition / instrumentation
  • Enteral Nutrition / methods*
  • Female
  • Fluoroscopy
  • Humans
  • Intubation, Gastrointestinal / adverse effects
  • Intubation, Gastrointestinal / instrumentation
  • Intubation, Gastrointestinal / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome