Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology
Interventional Radiology - Original Article

Fluoroscopy-guided jejunal extension tube placement through existing gastrostomy tubes: analysis of 391 procedures


Department of Radiology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA


Department of Radiology University of California, San Francisco, California, USA


Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA

Diagn Interv Radiol 2015; 21: 488-493
DOI: 10.5152/dir.2015.14524
Read: 440 Downloads: 108 Published: 03 September 2019



We aimed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of fluoroscopically placed jejunal extension tubes (J-arm) in patients with existing gastrostomy tubes.



We conducted a retrospective review of 391 J-arm placements performed in 174 patients. Indications for jejunal nutrition were aspiration risk (35%), pancreatitis (17%), gastroparesis (13%), gastric outlet obstruction (12%), and other (23%). Technical success, complications, malfunctions, and patency were assessed.  Percutaneous gastrostomy (PEG) tube location, J-arm course, and fluoroscopy time were correlated with success/failure. Failure was defined as inability to exit the stomach. Procedure-related complications were defined as adverse events related to tube placement occurring within seven days. Tube malfunctions and aspiration events were recorded and assessed.



Technical success was achieved in 91.9% (95% CI, 86.7%–95.2%) of new tubes versus 94.2% (95% CI, 86.7%–95.2%) of replacements (P = 0.373). Periprocedural complications occurred in three patients (0.8%). Malfunctions occurred in 197 patients (50%). Median tube patency was 103 days (95% CI, 71–134 days). No association was found between successful J-arm placement and gastric PEG tube position (P = 0.677), indication for jejunal nutrition (P = 0.349), J-arm trajectory in the stomach and incidence of malfunction (P = 0.365), risk of tube migration and PEG tube position (P = 0.173), or J-arm length (P = 0.987). A fluoroscopy time of 21.3 min was identified as a threshold for failure. Malfunctions occurred more often in tubes replaced after 90 days than in tubes replaced before 90 days (P < 0.001). A total of 42 aspiration events occurred (OR 6.4, P < 0.001, compared with nonmalfunctioning tubes).



Fluoroscopy-guided J-arm placement is safe for patients requiring jejunal nutrition. Tubes indwelling for longer than 90 days have higher rates of malfunction and aspiration.

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