Effectiveness and Complication Rate of Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy Placement in Pediatric Oncology Patients

Molly Kidder, Claudia Phen, Jerry Brown, Kathryn Kimsey, Benjamin Oshrine, Sharon Ghazarian, Jazmine Mateus, Ernest Amankwah, Michael Wilsey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose: Malnutrition is a significant issue for pediatric patients with cancer. We sought to evaluate the effectiveness and complication rate of percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) placement in pediatric oncology patients. Methods: A retrospective chart review was performed on 49 pediatric oncology patients undergoing PEG placement at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital between 2000 and 2016. Demographic and clinical characteristics, complications, absolute neutrophil count at time of PEG placement and at time of complications, length of stay, and mortality were identified. Weight-for-age Z-scores were evaluated at time of- and six months post-PEG placement. Results: The overall mean weight-for-age Z-score improved by 0.73 (p<0.0001) from pre-(-1.11) to post- (-0.38) PEG placement. Improvement in Z-score was seen in patients who were malnourished at time of PEG placement (1.14, p<0.0001), but not in those who were not malnourished (0.32, p=0.197). Site infections were seen in 12 (24%), buried bumper syndrome in five (10%), and tube dislodgement in one (2%) patient. One patient (2%) with fever was treated for possible peritonitis. There were no cases of other major complications, including gastric perforation, gastrocolic fistula, clinically significant bleeding, or PEG-related death documented. Conclusion: Consistent with previous studies, our data suggests a relationship between site complications (superficial wound infection, buried bumper syndrome) and neutropenia. Additionally, PEG placement appears to be an effective modality for improving nutritional status in malnourished pediatric oncology patients. However, larger prospective studies with appropriate controls and adjustment for potential confounders are warranted to confirm these findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)546-554
Number of pages9
JournalPediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2021


  • Endoscopy
  • Enteral nutrition
  • Gastrostomy
  • Neoplasm
  • Pediatrics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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