Radiographic Confirmation of Feeding Tube Placement: A Diagnostic Tool Identifying Gastrointestinal Anomalies

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Feeding tubes are commonly used in neonatal intensive care units, and their abnormal position seen on radiographs may indicate underlying serious problems. We recently cared for two infants who presented with clinical deterioration. An abnormally placed feeding tube seen on the chest radiograph revealed underlying serious conditions. The first case was an infant 29 weeks of age who presented with right-sided pneumothorax after birth. By history and a right-side-displaced orogastric (OG) tube, iatrogenic esophageal perforation was diagnosed. The second case was a 16-day-old infant who presented with recurrent vomiting. An OG tube extending into a cystic mass at the right cardiophrenic angle resulted in diagnosis of a herniated stomach with organoaxialtype volvulus, which required surgical repair. Both cases recovered uneventfully. As illustrated in these two rare cases, feeding tube position is not only important for feeding practice, but it also has diagnostic implications in newborn infants.

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