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J Pediatr Surg. 2002 Mar;37(3):407-12.

Fundoplication and gastrostomy versus image-guided gastrojejunal tube for enteral feeding in neurologically impaired children with gastroesophageal reflux.

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Division of Pediatric General Surgery and the Department Diagnostic Imaging, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



Neurologically impaired children with gastroesophageal reflux (GER) usually are treated with a fundoplication and gastrostomy (FG); however, this approach is associated with a high rate of complications and morbidity. The authors evaluated the image-guided gastrojejunal tube (GJ) as an alternative approach for this group of patients.


A retrospective review of 111 neurologically impaired patients with gastroesophageal reflux was performed. Patients underwent either FG (n = 63) or GJ (n = 48). All FGs were performed using an open technique by a pediatric surgeon, and all GJ tubes were placed by an interventional radiologist.


The 2 groups were similar with respect to diagnosis, age, sex and indication for feeding tube. Patients in the GJ group were followed up for an average of 3.11 years, and those in the FG group for 5.71 years. The groups did not differ statistically with respect to most complications (bleeding, peritonitis, aspiration pneumonia, recurrent gastroesophageal reflux [GER], wound infection, failure to thrive, and death), subsequent GER related admissions, or cost. Children in the GJ group were more likely to continue taking antireflux medication after the procedure (P <.05). Also, there was a trend for GJ patients to have an increased incidence of bowel obstruction or intussusception (20.8% v 7.9%). Of the FG patients 36.5% experienced retching, and 12.7% experienced dysphagia. Eighty-five percent of patients in the GJ group experienced GJ tube-specific complications (breakage, blockage, dislodgment), and GJ tube manipulations were required an average of 1.68 times per year follow-up. Nine patients (14.3%) in the FG group had wrap failure, with 7 (11.1%) of these children requiring repeat fundoplication. In the GJ group, 8.3% of patients went on to require a fundoplication for persistent problems. A total of 14.5% of GJ patients had their tube removed by the end of the follow-up period because they no longer needed the tube for feeding.


Image-guided gastrojejunal tubes are a reasonable alternative to fundoplication and gastrostomy for neurologically impaired children with GER. The majority can be inserted without general anesthesia. This technique failed in only 8.3% patients, and they subsequently required fundoplication. A total of 14.5% of GJ patients showed some spontaneous improvement and had their feeding tube removed. Each approach, however, still is associated with a significant complication rate. A randomized prospective study comparing these 2 approaches is needed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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