Fluoroscopically guided nasoenteric feeding tube placement: results of a 1-year study

Radiology. 1991 Mar;178(3):759-62. doi: 10.1148/radiology.178.3.1899727.


Nasoenteric tube feeding is a widely used alternative to parenteral intravenous nutritional support or gastrostomy tube placement. Unmonitored tube passage may result in complications and delays the beginning of tube feedings. The authors studied the results of 882 fluoroscopically guided feeding tube placements in 448 patients in 1 year to determine rates of success and complications, as well as the long-term outcome of this population of patients. Seven hundred sixty-four attempts (86.6%) were successful in positioning the tube distal to the third portion of the duodenum. Four major complications (three fatal arrhythmias and one tracheobronchial injury) were encountered. Only seven patients (2%) experienced aspiration events that were due to positioning of the tube in the distal duodenum. Seventy-seven percent of patients required either one or two tubes; the average "tube life" was 7.8 days. Most repositionings were required because of patient noncompliance or inappropriate administration of solid medications. Fluoroscopically guided nasoenteric tube passage is safe, easily performed, and highly successful, and has resulted in widespread clinical acceptance in our institution.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / epidemiology
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / etiology
  • Enteral Nutrition*
  • Fluoroscopy*
  • Humans
  • Intubation, Gastrointestinal / adverse effects
  • Intubation, Gastrointestinal / methods*
  • Pneumonia, Aspiration / epidemiology
  • Pneumonia, Aspiration / etiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Time Factors