Preoperative Evaluation Is Not Predictive of Transpyloric Feeding Conversion in Gastrostomy-dependent Pediatric Patients

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Limited literature exists as to whether preoperative gastrostomy (GT) evaluation may predict which patients will go onto require gastrojejunostomy (GJ) tube feeding. The goal of this study was to compare the preoperative evaluations between patients maintained on GT feeds versus patients who required conversion to GJ feeds.


We identified patients at Boston Children's Hospital who underwent GT tube placement and required GJ feeding between 2006 and 2012. GT patients were matched according to age, neurologic, and cardiac status with GJ-converted patients. Preoperative characteristics, rates of total hospitalizations, and respiratory-related admissions were reviewed.


A total of 79 GJ patients (median interquartile range (IQR): age 15 (4.3, 55.7) months; weight 8.8 (4.6, 14.5) kg) were matched with 79 GT patients (median (IQR): age 14.6 (4.7, 55.7) months; weight 8.5 (5, 13.6) kg). Median time from GT to GJ conversion was 8 (IQR 3, 16) months. Both groups had similar rates of successful preoperative nasogastric feeding trials (GT (84.5%) versus GJ (83.1%), P = 1.0), upper gastrointestinal series (GT (89.1%) versus GJ (93.2%), P = 0.73), abnormal videofluoroscopic swallow studies (GT (53.8%) versus GJ (62.2%), P = 0.4), and completion of gastric emptying studies (GT (10.1%) versus GJ (5.1%), P = 0.22). No differences were seen in preoperative hospitalization rates (P = 0.25), respiratory admissions (P = 0.36), although GJ patients had a mean reduction in the number of hospitalization of −1.5 ± 0.5 days, P < 0.001, after conversion.


No differences in preoperative patient characteristics or diagnostic evaluations were seen in GT fed versus GJ converted patients. GJ patients did experience an overall decrease in total admissions after GJ conversion.

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