Purpose: To determine the effect of trans-anastomotic tube (TAT) feeding on outcome following repair of congenital duodenal obstruction (CDO).
Methods: Retrospective comparative study of all infants with CDO over 10 years. Data are median (range). Mann-Whitney U test and Fisher's exact test were used.
Results: Of 55 infants with CDO (48 atresia, 7 stenosis), 17 were managed with a TAT, 38 without. Enteral feeds were commenced earlier in infants with a TAT compared to those without (TAT 2 days post-repair [1-4] vs. no-TAT 3 days post-repair [1-7]; p = 0.006). Infants with a TAT achieved full enteral feeds significantly sooner than those without (TAT 6 days post-repair [2-12] vs. no-TAT 9 days post-repair [3-36]; p = 0.005). Significantly fewer infants in the TAT group required central venous catheter (CVC) placement and parenteral nutrition (PN) than in the no-TAT group (TAT 2/17 vs. no-TAT 28/38, p < 0.0001). There were six CVC-related complications (5 infections, 1 PN extravasation) and four TATs became displaced and were removed before achieving full enteral feeds. One infant with a TAT with trisomy 21 and undiagnosed Hirschsprung disease developed an anastomotic leak and jejunal perforation requiring re-operation.
Conclusions: A TAT significantly shortens time to full enteral feeds in infants with CDO significantly reducing the need for central venous access and PN.