Nasojejunal feeding in hyperemesis gravidarum—a preliminary study

N Vaisman, R Kaidar, I Levin, J B Lessing
Clinical Nutrition 2004, 23 (1): 53-7
Hyperemesis gravidarum is a severe form of nausea and vomiting during the first trimester of pregnancy. Our objective was to assess the feasibility of nasojejunal feeding in our patients. Eleven pregnant women aged 23-46 years with hyperemesis gravidarum, persisting in spite of an in-hospital treatment of 2-15 days by intravenous fluids and antiemetic drugs and accompanied by weight loss, consented to have a nasojejunal feeding tube inserted endoscopically. Mean in-hospital weight loss prior to tube insertion was 2.2+/-1.1 kg (range 0.9-5.1 kg). A clear reduction in the extent of vomiting was already apparent within the first 48 h after tube insertion, but vomiting ceased completely after a mean of 5+/-4 days (range 1-13 days). Weight gain was recorded in six patients who stayed on tube feeding for more than 4 days. Patients were encouraged to start drinking and eating along tube feeding after 3-4 days. Ceasing vomiting and a concomitant sufficient oral intake of at least 1000 kcal/day resulted in the decision to remove the tube after 4-21 days. In three cases, however, the tube was expelled by recurrent vomiting after 1-4 days, or was blocked as in one case. The tube was not reintroduced and patients did not resume vomiting. There were no complications associated with this feeding approach in this population. Only one patient was readmitted. None of the rest resumed vomiting after tube withdrawal.The above suggests that nasojejunal enteral feeding can be an effective option in hyperemesis gravidarum persisting despite intravenous fluids and antiemetic drugs.

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