A new strategy for enteral nutrition using a deflection flexible visual gastric tube: A randomized crossover manikin trial

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Enteral nutrition via gastric tube insertion is a routine clinical practice for critically ill patients, although complications due to blind manipulation are occasionally reported.


An 8.4Fr deflection flexible ureteroscope was delivered into a 15Fr conventional gastric tube to create a gastric visual guidance system. Twenty inexperienced physicians were randomly assigned to perform 5 repeated orogastric tube placements in a manikin using both the conventional method and the deflection visual gastric tube, for a total of 10 procedures per physician. Placement time, procedure-related complications, and participants’ experience with both methods were recorded.


Under real-time guidance, the visual gastric tube successfully reached the stomach. The procedure provided additional information on the anatomy of the esophagus and stomach. Placement time was significantly less in the visual group than in the conventional group (39.39 ± 2.11 seconds vs 49.82 ± 3.11 seconds; P < .001). Procedure-related complications were not observed in the visual group; however, the gastric tube was misplaced into the airway in 19 out of 100 cases (19%) in the conventional group. Furthermore, 17 out of 20 participants (85%) preferred the visual gastric tube guide over the standard method.


Results of this manikin model demonstrate that it is feasible to use the deflection flexible visual gastric tube to create a route for enteral nutrition and that such a procedure decreases placement time and procedure-related complications compared to the conventional procedure. These findings may point to a new strategy for gastric tube insertion in the future.

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