Pediatric Radiology

, Volume 46, Issue 10, pp 1444–1450 | Cite as

Peritonitis following percutaneous gastrostomy tube insertions in children

  • Leema DookhooEmail author
  • Sanjay Mahant
  • Dimitri A. Parra
  • Philip R. John
  • Joao G. Amaral
  • Bairbre L. Connolly
Original Article



Percutaneous retrograde gastrostomy has a high success rate, low morbidity, and can be performed under different levels of sedation or local anesthesia in children. Despite its favourable safety profile, major complications can occur. Few studies have examined peritonitis following percutaneous retrograde gastrostomy in children.


To identify potential risk factors and variables influencing the development and early diagnosis of peritonitis following percutaneous retrograde gastrostomy.

Materials and methods

We conducted a retrospective case–control study of children who developed peritonitis within 7 days of percutaneous retrograde gastrostomy between 2003 and 2012. From the 1,504 patients who underwent percutaneous retrograde gastrostomy, patients who developed peritonitis (group 1) were matched by closest date of procedure to those without peritonitis (group 2). Peritonitis was defined according to recognized clinical criteria. Demographic, clinical, procedural, management and outcomes data were collected.


Thirty-eight of 1,504 children (2.5%; 95% confidence interval, 1.8-3.5) who underwent percutaneous retrograde gastrostomy developed peritonitis ≤7 days post procedure (group 1). Fever (89%), irritability (63%) and abdominal pain (55%) occurred on presentation of peritonitis. Group 1 patients were all treated with antibiotics; 41% underwent additional interventions: tube readjustments (8%), aspiration of pneumoperitoneum (23%), laparotomy (10%) and intensive care unit admission (10%). In group 1, enteral feeds started on average 3 days later and patients were discharged 5 days later than patients in group 2. There were two deaths not directly related to peritonitis. Neither age, gender, weight, underlying diagnoses nor operator was identified as a risk factor.


Peritonitis following percutaneous retrograde gastrostomy in children occurs in approximately 2.5% of cases. No risk factors for its development were identified. Medical management is usually sufficient for a good outcome. Patients with peritonitis are delayed starting feeds and have a hospital stay that is an average of 5 days longer than those without.


Children Gastrostomy Interventional radiology Peritonitis Stomach 



This study was funded by the Medical Alumni Association, Comprehensive Research Experience for Medical Students, University of Toronto, Faculty of Medicine.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leema Dookhoo
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Sanjay Mahant
    • 3
  • Dimitri A. Parra
    • 1
  • Philip R. John
    • 1
  • Joao G. Amaral
    • 1
  • Bairbre L. Connolly
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Diagnostic ImagingThe Hospital for Sick ChildrenTorontoCanada
  2. 2.University of Toronto, Faculty of MedicineTorontoCanada
  3. 3.Department of PediatricsThe Hospital for Sick ChildrenTorontoCanada

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