Rates and risks of gastrostomy tubes in infants with cleft palate

Sharon R. Cu, James D. Sidman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Objectives: To review data on a cohort of infants with cleft palate to (1) determine rates of gastrostomy (G)-tube placement, (2) identify contributing comorbidities, and (3) use relative risk analyses to improve management of cleft palate in infants with feeding difficulty. Design: Retrospective medical record review. Setting: Tertiary care children's hospital. Patients: Infants with cleft palate born between January 1, 2000, and December 31, 2008, without G-tubes prior to referral were included. Comorbidities were analyzed, including syndromes and chromosomopathies (syn/chrom) and cardiac, respiratory, neurologic, and gastrointestinal diagnoses. These comorbidities were analyzed independently. Main Outcome Measure: Gastrostomy-tube placement. Results: Of 214 infants with cleft palate, 34 required G-tubes. Of these, 19 had syn/chrom. Independent of these diagnoses, 17 infants had 1 system comorbidity and 12 had multisystem comorbidities. Of the 180 patients without G-tubes, 20 had syn/chrom. Independent of these diagnoses, 10 infants had 1 system comorbidity and 2 had multisystem comorbidities. Rates of G-tube placement ranged from 3% in infants without any comorbidity to 94% in infants with respiratory comorbidity. Relative risks of G-tube placement with syn/chrom, 1 system comorbidity, and multisystem comorbidities were 5.68 (95% confidence interval, 3.18-10.16), 21.79 (8.76-54.17), and 29.66 (12.18-72.21), respectively. Conclusions: Diagnosis of syn/chrom or major comorbidity significantly increases risk of G-tube placement. Regardless of syn/chrom association, problems affecting the heart, respiratory system, central nervous system, and lower esophageal sphincter are the most significant risk factors, implying that particular comorbidities are more influential than a simple diagnosis of syn/chrom. These data should help identify children at greatest risk for G-tubes and those expected to overcome feeding difficulties, leading to more persistent use of nonsurgical therapy before resorting to G-tubes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)275-281
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2011
Externally publishedYes


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