Electromagnetic-guided versus endoscopic-guided postpyloric placement of nasoenteral feeding tubes

Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2022 Oct 3;10(10):CD013865. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD013865.pub2.

Abstract

Background: For people who are malnourished and unable to consume food by mouth, nasoenteral feeding tubes are commonly used for the administration of liquid food and drugs. Postpyloric placement is when the tip of the feeding tube is placed beyond the pylorus, in the small intestine. Endoscopic-guided placement of postpyloric feeding tubes is the most common approach. Usually, an endoscopist and two or more medical professionals perform this procedure using a guidewire technique. The position of the tube is then confirmed with fluoroscopy or radiography, which requires moving people undergoing the procedure to the radiology department. Alternatively, electromagnetic-guided placement of postpyloric nasoenteral feeding tubes can be performed by a single trained nurse, at the bedside and with less equipment than endoscopic-guided placement. Hence, electromagnetic-guided placement may represent a promising alternative to endoscopic-guided placement, especially in settings where endoscopy and radiographic facilities are unavailable or difficult to access.

Objectives: To assess the efficacy and safety of electromagnetic-guided placement of postpyloric nasoenteral feeding tubes compared to endoscopic-guided placement.

Search methods: We searched the Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL, ClinicalTrials.gov, World Health Organization International Clinical Trials Registry Platform, and OpenGrey until February 2021. We screened the reference lists of relevant review articles and current treatment guidelines for further literature. We contacted the study authors for missing data.

Selection criteria: We included randomised trials comparing electromagnetic-guided placement with endoscopic-guided placement of nasoenteral feeding tubes. We excluded prospective cohort studies, retrospective cohort studies, (nested) case-control studies, cross-sectional studies, and case series or case reports.

Data collection and analysis: Two review authors independently assessed the methodological quality of potentially eligible trials and extracted data from the included trials. The primary outcomes were technical success in insertion and aspiration pneumonitis. The secondary outcomes were the time for postpyloric placement of nasoenteral feeding tubes, direct healthcare costs, and adverse events. We performed a random-effects meta-analysis. We calculated risk ratios (RRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for dichotomous outcomes and mean differences (MDs) with 95% CIs for continuous outcomes. We evaluated the certainty of evidence based on the GRADE approach.

Main results: We identified four randomised controlled trials with 541 participants which met our inclusion criteria. All trials had methodological limitations, and lack of blinding of participants and investigators was a major source of bias. We had 'some concerns' for the overall risk of bias in all trials. Electromagnetic-guided postpyloric placement of nasoenteral feeding tubes may result in little to no difference in technical success in insertion compared to endoscopic-guided placement (RR 1.09, 95% CI 0.88 to 1.35; I2 = 81%; low-certainty evidence). Electromagnetic-guided placement may result in a difference in the proportion of participants with aspiration pneumonitis compared to endoscopic-guided placement, but these results are unclear (RR 0.24, 95% CI 0.03 to 2.18; I2 = 0%; low-certainty evidence). Electromagnetic-guided placement may result in little to no difference in the time for postpyloric placement of nasoenteral feeding tubes compared to endoscopic-guided placement (MD 4.06 minutes, 95% CI -0.47 to 8.59; I2 = 97%; low-certainty evidence). Electromagnetic-guided placement likely reduces direct healthcare costs compared to endoscopic-guided placement (MD -127.69 US dollars, 95% CI -135.71 to -119.67; moderate-certainty evidence). Electromagnetic-guided placement likely results in little to no difference in adverse events compared with endoscopic-guided placement (RR 0.78, 95% CI 0.41 to 1.49; moderate-certainty evidence).

Authors' conclusions: We found low-certainty evidence that electromagnetic-guided placement at the bedside results in little to no difference in technical success in insertion and aspiration pneumonitis, compared to endoscopic-guided placement. The heterogeneity of the healthcare professionals who performed the procedures and the small sample sizes limited our confidence in the evidence. Future research should be based on large studies with well-defined endpoints to potentially elucidate the differences between these two procedures.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Electromagnetic Phenomena
  • Endoscopy*
  • Humans
  • Pneumonia*
  • Retrospective Studies