Hypertrophic pyloric stenosis in infants can cause a buildup of gastric contents. Orogastric tubes (OGTs) or nasogastric tubes (NGTs) are often placed in patients with pyloric stenosis before surgical management to prevent aspiration. However, exacerbation of gastric losses may lead to electrolyte abnormalities that can delay surgery, and placement has been associated with increased risk of postoperative emesis. Currently, there are no evidence-based guidelines regarding OGT/NGT placement in these patients. This study examines whether OGT/NGT placement before arrival in the operating room was associated with a longer time to readiness for surgery as defined by normalization of electrolytes. Secondary outcomes included time from surgery to discharge and ability to tolerate feeds by 6 hours postoperatively in patients with and without early OGT/NGT placement.
In this multicenter retrospective cohort study, data were extracted from the medical records of 481 patients who underwent pyloromyotomy for infantile hypertrophic pyloric stenosis from March 2013 to June 2016. Multivariable linear regression and Cox proportional hazard models were constructed to evaluate the association between placement of an OGT/NGT at the time of admission with increased time to readiness for surgery (defined as the time from admission to the first set of normalized laboratory values) and increased time from surgery to discharge. Multivariable logistic regression was used to evaluate the association between early OGT/NGT placement and the ability to tolerate oral intake at 6 hours postsurgery. Analyses were adjusted for site differences.
Among patients admitted with electrolyte abnormalities, those with an OGT/NGT placed on presentation required more time until their serum electrolytes were at acceptable levels for surgery by regression analysis (19.2 hours difference; 95% confidence interval, 10.05–28.41; P < .001), after adjusting for site. Overall, patients who had OGTs/NGTs placed before presentation in the operating room had a longer length of stay from surgery to discharge than those without (38.8 hours difference; 95% confidence interval, 25.35–52.31; P < .001), after adjusting for site. OGT/NGT placement before surgery was not associated with failure to tolerate oral intake within 6 hours of surgery after adjusting for site, corrected gestational age, and baseline serum electrolytes.
OGT/NGT placement on admission for pyloric stenosis is associated with a longer time to electrolyte correction in infants with abnormal laboratory values on presentation and, subsequently, a longer time until they are ready for surgery. It is also associated with longer postoperative hospital stay but not an increased risk of feeding intolerance within 6 hours of surgical repair.