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Dev Med Child Neurol. 2007 May;49(5):367-71.

Gastrostomy placement in paediatric patients with neuromuscular disorders: indications and outcome.

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Neuromuscular Unit, Department of Paediatrics and Neonatal Medicine, Imperial College, Hammersmith Hospital, London, UK.


Studies of children with neurodevelopmental disorders have shown that receiving nutrition through a gastrostomy can improve clinical outcomes and quality of life. However, there is little information on gastrostomy and its effect in patients with neuromuscular disorders. A retrospective casenote review of all patients with a gastrostomy, followed-up at the Hammersmith Hospital, London, was undertaken to assess the indications for, and outcomes of, gastrostomy placement. Notes for 32 patients (17 males, 15 females) were reviewed (age range 32mo-31y; median age 12y 5mo). We found three main groups of diagnoses: congenital muscular dystrophy (n=15), structural congenital myopathies (n=11), and other neuromuscular disorders (n=6). Two main patterns of feeding problems were identified before gastrostomy: swallowing difficulties, and nutrition and growth problems. The follow-up period after gastrostomy was from 12 months to 19 years (mean 5y). Weight faltering was reversed in 17 out of 22 patients, and height faltering in 9 out of 14, where data were available. Twenty-six patients had a reduced frequency of chest infections. No significant complication of gastrostomy placement was documented. Twenty-eight patients or their families were happy with the results of the gastrostomy. Gastrostomy seems to have a substantial positive impact in patients with neuromuscular disease and feeding difficulties.

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