A prospective randomized trial of transnasal ileus tube vs nasogastric tube for adhesive small bowel obstruction

World J Gastroenterol. 2012 Apr 28;18(16):1968-74. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v18.i16.1968.


Aim: To study the therapeutic efficacy of a new transnasal ileus tube advanced endoscopically for adhesive small bowel obstruction.

Methods: A total of 186 patients with adhesive small bowel obstruction treated from September 2007 to February 2011 were enrolled into this prospective randomized controlled study. The endoscopically advanced new ileus tube was used for gastrointestinal decompression in 96 patients and ordinary nasogastric tube (NGT) was used in 90 patients. The therapeutic efficacy was compared between the two groups.

Results: Compared with the NGT group, the ileus tube group experienced significantly shorter time for relief of clinical symptoms and improvement in the findings of abdominal radiograph (4.1 ± 2.3 d vs 8.5 ± 5.0 d) and laboratory tests (P < 0.01). The overall effectiveness rate was up to 89.6% in the ileus tube group and 46.7% in the NGT group (P < 0.01). And 10.4% of the patients in the ileus tube group and 53.3% of the NGT group underwent surgery. For recurrent adhesive bowel obstruction, ileus tube was also significantly more effective than NGT (95.8% vs 31.6%). In the ileus tube group, the drainage output on the first day and the length of hospital stay were significantly different depending on the treatment success or failure (P < 0.05). The abdominal radiographic improvement was correlated with whether or not the patient underwent surgery.

Conclusion: Ileus tube can be used for adhesive small bowel obstruction. Endoscopic placement of the ileus tube is convenient and worthy to be promoted despite the potential risks.

Keywords: Adhesive; Gastrointestinal decompression; Ileus tube; Nasogastric intubation; Small bowel obstruction.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Decompression, Surgical*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Obstruction / surgery*
  • Intubation, Gastrointestinal / instrumentation*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Tissue Adhesions