Background: Aspiration is one of the major complications after percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG). The administration of semi-solid nutrients by means of gastrostomy tube has recently been reported to be effective in preventing aspiration pneumonia. The effects of semi-solid nutrients on gastroesophageal reflux, intragastric distribution, and gastric emptying were evaluated.
Methods: Semi-solid nutrients were prepared by liquid nutrients mixed with agar at the concentration of 0.5%. The distribution of the administered radiolabeled liquid and semi-solid nutrients was monitored by a scintillation camera for 15 post-PEG patients. The percentage of esophageal reflux, the distribution of the proximal and distal stomach, and the gastric emptying time were evaluated.
Results: The percentage of gastroesophageal reflux was significantly decreased in semi-solid nutrients (0.82 +/- 1.27%) compared with liquid nutrients (3.75 +/- 4.25%), whereas the gastric emptying time was not different. The distribution of semi-solid nutrients was not different from liquid nutrients in the early phase, whereas higher retention of liquid nutrients in the proximal stomach was observed in the late phase.
Conclusions: Gastroesophageal reflux was significantly inhibited by semi-solid nutrients. One of the mechanisms of the inhibition is considered to be an improvement in the transition from the proximal to distal stomach in semi-solid nutrients.