Enteral tube feeding for cystic fibrosis

Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015 Apr 9;(4):CD001198. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD001198.pub4.


Background: Enteral tube feeding is routinely used in many cystic fibrosis centres when oral dietary and supplement intake has failed to achieve an adequate nutritional status. The use of this method of feeding is assessed on an individual basis taking into consideration the patients age and clinical status.

Objectives: To examine the evidence that in people with cystic fibrosis, supplemental enteral tube feeding improves nutritional status, respiratory function, and quality of life without significant adverse effects.

Search methods: We searched the Cochrane Cystic Fibrosis and Genetic Disorders Group Trials Register which comprises references identified from comprehensive electronic database searches and handsearches of relevant journals and abstract books of conference proceedings. We also contacted the companies that market enteral feeds and reviewed their databases.Date of the most recent search of the Group's Cystic Fibrosis Trials Register: 13 February 2015.Date of the most recent hand search of PubMed and conference abstract books: 13 February 2015.

Selection criteria: All randomised controlled trials comparing supplemental enteral tube feeding for one month or longer with no specific intervention in people with cystic fibrosis.

Data collection and analysis: The searches identified 38 trials; however, none were eligible for inclusion in this review.

Main results: There are no trials included in this review.

Authors' conclusions: Supplemental enteral tube feeding is widely used throughout the world to improve nutritional status in people with cystic fibrosis. The methods mostly used, nasogastric or gastrostomy feeding, are expensive and may have a negative effect on self-esteem and body image. Reported use of enteral tube feeding suggests that it results in nutritional and respiratory improvement; but, efficacy has not been fully assessed by randomised controlled trials. It is acknowledged, however, that performing a randomised controlled trial would be difficult due to the ethics of withholding an intervention in a group of patients whose nutritional status necessitates it.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Cystic Fibrosis / therapy*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Enteral Nutrition*
  • Humans
  • Nutritional Status*
  • Quality of Life