OBJECTIVE: Early enteral feedings may improve outcomes in critically ill patients. Recently, transnasal endoscopy with an ultrathin transnasal endoscope has been shown to be of value for diagnostic endoscopy without conscious sedation. We developed a technique for the placement of postpyloric feeding tubes in critically ill patients using transnasal endoscopy. We describe our initial experience in a consecutive series of patients. METHODS: We collected data on consecutive intensive care unit patients undergoing bedside transnasal endoscopy for nasoenteric feeding tube placement using a standardized technique. Tube position was confirmed in all patients with a plain abdominal radiograph. Tube placement was deemed successful if the feeding tube traversed the pylorus. RESULTS: Transnasal endoscopy was completed in all fourteen patients, as was placement of a feeding tube. Feeding tubes were successfully placed in the jejunum or duodenum in 13 of the 14 patients (93%). Tubes remained in place from 3 to 45 days (mean 16 days). Two patients required conscious sedation during tube placement, and two ultimately required percutaneous gastrostomy. CONCLUSIONS: Transnasal endoscopy allows simple and successful postpyloric feeding tube placement at the bedside of critically ill patients. This method can facilitate early enteral feeding in intensive care units.
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