Effect of presence/absence of a nasogastric tube in the same person on incidence of aspiration

Michael Fattal, Debra M. Suiter, Heather L. Warner, Steven B. Leder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Objective. To determine what effect, if any, the presence or absence of a nasogastric (NG) tube in the same person had on the incidence of anterograde aspiration. Design. Case series with planned data collection. Setting. Large, urban, tertiary care teaching hospital. Subjects and Methods. Referred sample of 62 consecutively enrolled adult inpatients for fiber-optic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES). Group 1 (n = 21) had either small-bore (n = 13) or large-bore (n = 8) NG tubes already in place and had a FEES first with the NG tube in place and a second FEES after NG tube removal. Group 2 (n = 41) did not have an NG tube and had a FEES first without an NG tube and a second FEES after placement of a small-bore NG tube. Time between FEES was approximately 5 minutes. Patients were tested with thin liquid and puree food consistencies. Occurrence of aspiration for each consistency dependent on the presence or absence of an NG tube was recorded. Results. There were no significant differences (P > .05) in aspiration status for both liquid and puree consistencies in the same person dependent on presence or absence of either a small-bore or large-bore NG tube. Conclusions. Since objective swallowing evaluation (eg, FEES) can be performed with an NG tube in place, it is not necessary to remove an NG tube to evaluate for aspiration. Similarly, there is no contraindication to leaving an NG tube in place to supplement oral alimentation until nutritional requirements are achieved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)796-800
Number of pages5
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2011


  • Aspiration
  • Deglutition
  • Deglutition disorders
  • Nasogastric tube

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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