Diagnosis and treatment of gastric antral webs in pediatric patients

Surg Endosc. 2019 Mar;33(3):745-749. doi: 10.1007/s00464-018-6338-2. Epub 2018 Jul 13.


Background: Gastric antral webs are mucosal structures, varying from fenestrated diaphragms to mucosal crescents, resulting in varying degrees of foregut obstruction. Patients commonly present with vomiting, failure to thrive, and abdominal pain. Prevalence is unknown, and diagnosis can be difficult.

Methods: We performed an IRB-approved retrospective review of patients from 4/1/2015-4/1/2018 at a Level I Children's Surgery Center undergoing gastric antral web resection. Data obtained included demographics, preoperative workup, surgical repair, and outcomes.

Results: Twenty-one patients were identified; 67% were male with an average age of 30 months at diagnosis. Initial diagnosis was established by a combination of fluoroscopy and esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) in all patients. Patients presented with emesis (76%), failure to thrive (57%), need for post-pyloric tube feeds (33%), and abdominal pain (14%). Web localization without intraoperative EGD (n = 3) was initially challenging. As a result, intraoperative EGD was combined with operative antral web resection to facilitate web localization (n = 18). Web marking techniques have evolved from marking with suture (n = 1) and tattoo (n = 2), to endoscopic clip application (n = 12). All 21 patients underwent web resection, 2 were performed laparoscopically. Twenty underwent Heineke-Mikulicz pyloroplasty during the initial surgery. Average length of stay was 5.5 days. There were no intraoperative complications or deaths. Permanent symptom resolution occurred in 90% of patients immediately, with a statistically significant decrease in emesis (p < 0.001), failure to thrive (p < 0.001), and need for post-pyloric tube feeding (p = 0.009) within 6 months of surgery.

Conclusion: Gastric antral webs should be considered in the differential diagnosis for a child with persistent vomiting. Web resection with the use of intraoperative endoscopic localization can result in permanent symptom resolution in the majority of these patients.

Keywords: Endoscopy; Gastric antral web; Heineke-Mikulicz pyloroplasty.

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Pain / etiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Endoscopy, Digestive System*
  • Failure to Thrive / etiology
  • Female
  • Fluoroscopy
  • Gastric Mucosa / abnormalities
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Laparoscopy
  • Male
  • Pyloric Antrum / abnormalities*
  • Pyloric Antrum / diagnostic imaging
  • Pyloric Antrum / surgery
  • Pyloric Stenosis / complications
  • Pyloric Stenosis / diagnosis*
  • Pyloric Stenosis / etiology
  • Pyloric Stenosis / surgery*
  • Pylorus / surgery
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Vomiting / etiology*