Colonic ischemia and perforation associated with enteral feeding through an ileal tube.

Boudewijn De Waele, Georges Delvaux, Kristof De Brabandere

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    Reported complications of enteral feeding through a jejunostomy include diarrhea, intraperitoneal leaks, bowel obstruction, fistula formation, wound infection, tube occlusion, and other mechanical malfunctions. However, the incidence of these complications is very low, and many physicians prefer to feed their patients by means of a jejunal tube instead of parenteral nutrition. A potentially lethal complication is ischemia of the bowel distal to the site of insertion of the feeding catheter. The described cases of bowel ischemia secondary to enteral nutrition invariably occurred at the level of the jejunum. This report describes an unusual case of perforation of the colon in a patient fed through an erroneously placed feeding catheter in the distal ileum, just proximal to the ileocecal valve. After weeks of continuous and intractable diarrhea and progressive weight loss, the patient developed diffuse colonic ischemia with subsequent free perforation of the left colon and peritonitis. Surgical treatment consisted of placement of a new feeding tube in the proximal jejunum and removal of the old one together with a short segment of small bowel, left hemicolectomy, and end colostomy. The patient tolerated the procedure well, the tube feedings were gradually restarted, and at the 6-month postoperative visit gastrointestinal function was normal. This case illustrates possible complications of an inadvertently placed feeding tube. Not only may it cause unexplained diarrhea and undernutrition, but it may lead to more serious events like colonic ischemia and perforation.
    Originele taal-2English
    Pagina's (van-tot)301-303
    Aantal pagina's3
    TijdschriftNutrition in Clinical Practice
    Volume10
    StatusPublished - 2010

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