Safety of Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy Placement in Patients With SARS-CoV-2 Infection

Ayushi Shah, Zunirah Ahmed, Fadl Zeineddine, Eamonn M.M. Quigley


Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) can lead to ventilator-dependent chronic respiratory failure and a need for tube feeding. Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) placement provides more sustainable longer-term enteral access with fewer side effects compared to the long-term nasogastric tube placement. Bleeding is a recognized complication of PEG placement, and many COVID-19 patients are on antiplatelets/anticoagulants, yet minimal data exist on the safety of PEG tube placement in this context.

Methods: A retrospective chart review identified patients who underwent PEG placement between January 2020 and January 2021 at a single institution. Success was defined as PEG placement and use to provide enteral nutrition with no complications requiring removal within 4 weeks.

Results: Thirty-six patients with and 104 age- and sex-matched patients without COVID-19 infection were included. More COVID-19 patients were obese, on anticoagulants, had low serum albumin levels and had a tracheostomy in place. Of those patients, 8.3% with COVID-19 developed PEG-related complications compared to 16.3% without (P = 0.28). PEG success rates in patients with and without COVID-19 were similar at 97.2% and 92.3%, respectively (P = 0.44).

Conclusion: PEG tube placement is comparatively safe in COVID-19 patients who need long-term enteral access.

Gastroenterol Res. 2022;15(5):263-267


Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy; COVID-19; Anticoagulants; Antiplatelets; Obesity; Complications; Nasoenteric tubes; Safety

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