[Feeding tube placement: auscultatory method and x-ray agreement]

Rev Gaucha Enferm. 2015 Dec;36(4):98-103. doi: 10.1590/1983-1447.2015.04.54700.
[Article in Portuguese]


Objective: to evaluate the correlation between the auscultation test and X-ray when detecting the position of an enteral feeding tube.

Methods: cross-sectional study in an intensive care unit in southern Brazil, in 2011. Clinical nurse and nurse researcher performed auscultation test recording the impressions regarding the placement of an enteral feeding tube in 80 patients. A doctor evaluated the X-ray. Kappa coefficient and PABAK reviewed the agreements.

Results: The X-ray showed that 70% of the enteral tubes were in the stomach, 27.4% in the duodenum, 1.3% in the esophagus, and 1.3% in the right lung. There was a weak correlation between clinical nurses and nurse researchers (PABAK=0.054; P=0.103), clinical nurses and X-rays (PABAK=0.188; P=0.111) and nurse researchers and X-rays (PABAK=0.128; P=0.107) . The auscultation test did not detect two risk conditions, enteral feeding tube in the esophagus and the bronchus.

Conclusion: the auscultation test showed little agreement with the X-ray on the enteral feeding tube location.

MeSH terms

  • Auscultation
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Enteral Nutrition*
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Intubation, Gastrointestinal / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiography