Pneumoperitoneum after percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy in patients in the Intensive Care Unit

Joshua B. Alley, Michael G. Corneille, Ronald M. Stewart, Daniel L. Dent

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) has been associated with up to a 55 per cent incidence of pneumoperitoneum in the literature. A review was conducted of 120 consecutive PEG tube insertions in patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) to determine the incidence and significance of postprocedural pneumoperitoneum in this population. One hundred twenty consecutive PEG insertions in patients in the ICU were retrospectively reviewed. Chest radiographs were reviewed for 48 hours postprocedure, noting if any pneumoperitoneum was apparent on radiologic examination. If present, the time to resolution was noted. Documented PEG complications were also examined. Post-PEG pneumoperitoneum was detected in 6.7 per cent of patients in the ICU. Mean time to resolution was 2.7 days. The complication rate was 10.8 per cent, including dislodgement requiring laparotomy, transcolonic placement, and upper gastrointestinal bleeding. There were no complications resulting from PEG placement in patients with postprocedural pneumoperitoneum. Two transcolonic PEGs were undetected by postprocedure chest radiographs. The incidence of post-PEG pneumoperitoneum in our ICU population was 6.7 per cent. We believe that this incidence, although lower than historical rates, accurately reflects the current rate of detectable pneumoperitoneum in patients in the ICU. PEG-related complications were not associated with postprocedure pneumoperitoneum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)765-767
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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