Clinically Significant Pneumatosis Intestinalis with Postoperative Enteral Feedings by Needle Catheter Jejunostomy: An Unusual Complication

C. Daniel Smith, Michael G. Sarr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Scopus citations

Abstract

We evaluated the incidence of clinically significant pneumatosis intestinalis and intestinal necrosis with the use of needle catheter jejunostomy in 217 consecutive patients who had undergone complicated abdominal operations or selected bariatric procedures. The needle catheter jejunostomy was used to deliver immediate postoperative nutrition, maintenance, and replacement fluids, and selected medications. In this group, no serious complications requiring surgical intervention were related to the use of needle catheter jejunostomies. Clinically significant pneumatosis intestinalis was encountered in two of 217 patients (1%). With the needle catheter jejunostomy in place, both patients improved rapidly when enteral feedings were discontinued and parenteral antibiotics were administered. None of the 217 patients developed ischemic intestinal necrosis. We conclude that 1) clinically significant pneumatosis is a rare complication of enteric feeding via needle catheter jejunostomy when the intrajejunal feeding is begun with a diluted, hypoosmolar solution with stepwise increases in osmolality, and 2) patients who do develop clinically significant pneumatosis (n=2) seem to respond rapidly to a temporary stoppage of enteral feedings and administration of parenteral antibiotics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)328-331
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition
Volume15
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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