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AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1991 Oct;157(4):769-71.

Enteral feeding tubes: placement by using fluoroscopy and endoscopy.

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Department of Radiology, Bowman Gray School of Medicine, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC 27103.


Fluoroscopy and endoscopy are both effective for guiding placement of enteral feeding tubes, but the relative advantages and limitations of the two methods are less clear. Consequently, we studied 104 consecutive patients referred for primary fluoroscopic placement of a Frederick-Miller feeding catheter. Success rate, fluoroscopic and room times, and tube position were determined. Unsuccessful fluoroscopic placement was followed immediately by an endoscopic attempt. The success rate for fluoroscopic placement was 90% (94/104), with the tube placed into the jejunum in 53% and into the duodenum in 47%. The fluoroscopic and room times for successful fluoroscopic placements were 8.6 +/- 5.6 min (mean +/- SD) and 21.7 +/- 8.4 min, respectively. For the 10 unsuccessful placements, the fluoroscopic and room times were 16.2 +/- 5.4 min (mean +/- SD) and 45.6 +/- 18.4 min, respectively. Both time differences were significant statistically. Endoscopic placement was successful in all seven patients in whom it was attempted, with a mean time of 13.4 min. The tubes placed endoscopically were in the jejunum in 29% and in the duodenum in 71%. Our results show that fluoroscopic and endoscopic placement of enteral feeding tubes is highly effective. Fluoroscopic time in successful cases is usually less than 15 min. Endoscopic placement of feeding tubes is successful after fluoroscopic failure.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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