Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy or jejunostomy and the incidence of aspiration in 79 patients

S C Kadakia, H O Sullivan, E Starnes
American Journal of Surgery 1992, 164 (2): 114-8
Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) and percutaneous endoscopic jejunostomy (PEJ) are well-accepted procedures for long-term enteral alimentation. PEG has replaced surgical gastrostomy at many institutions because of its safety and ease. This study was undertaken to evaluate the indications for PEG and PEJ, as well as their success rates, complications with special attention to aspiration, and long-term follow-up. We were specifically interested in reviewing the problem of aspiration in patients with PEG and PEJ. A retrospective review of 79 patients at Brooke Army Medical Center over a 3-year period was done. PEG or PEJ was successful in 79 of 81 patients (97%). The most common indications were neurologic disorders in 46 patients (58%) and cancer in 20 (25.3%). Complications other than aspiration occurred in 11 patients (14%). Aspiration occurred in nine patients after PEG or PEJ (11.4%); six patients had experienced aspiration prior to PEG or PEJ. Six patients had a jejunostomy tube placed through the PEG for prevention of aspiration, and three died of continued aspiration. We conclude that aspiration is not prevented by PEJ, continues to be a major problem after PEJ, and becomes manifest for the first time after PEG.

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