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Chir Ital. 2009 Jan-Feb;61(1):33-8.

Endoscopic gastrostomy for enteral nutrition in neurogenic dysphagia: Application of a nasogastric tube or percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy.

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Department of Emergency and Organ Transplantation, General Surgery and Liver Transplantation Unit, University of Bari.


Enteral nutrition can be administered via a nasogastric tube or, in selected patients, via a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy. In patients with neurogenic dysphagia, the choice of nutritional administration, and above all the timing, are crucial. Our aim was to retrospectively assess the impact of new guidelines for percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy insertion adopted since January 2002 and compare them with our previous experience. From January 1992 to June 2007, 285 gastrostomies (168 M, 117 F) were positioned in our institute. We analysed 232 patients (139 M, 93 F) in whom a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy was applied for neurogenic dysphagia: Group A (from January 1992 to December 2001) consisting of 174 patients; Group B (from January 2002 to June 2007) consisting of 58 patients. The percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy was positioned in all the cases with neurogenic dysphagia after a period of not less than 3 weeks of nutrition by nasogastric tube. A total of 6 major complications (2.3 %) occurred, almost all in group A. The mortality rate (3 patients, 2%) correlated with the complications in group A. In cases of neurogenic dysphagia we believe that greater methodological rigour in the multidisciplinary decision-making process, and a period of about 6-8 weeks' nutrition by nasogastric tube after the acute neurological damage may be useful to ensure a better prognostic evaluation of the patient and hence of the indications for percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy.

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