Nasoduodenal tube placement: Are two views necessary to confirm position?
Nasoduodenal tube (NDT) placement is typically performed at the bedside and two-view abdominal radiographs are usually used to confirm tube position. Anecdotally, in most instances the lateral view is unnecessary and utilizes more than twice the radiation than an anteroposterior (AP) view alone.
We hypothesize that NDT location can be determined using only the AP view, with the NDT position determined on two views utilized as the gold standard.
Materials and methods
A search was performed for all two- or three-view abdominal radiographs from September 2012 to September 2013 with the phrase “ND tube” in the reason field of the requisition. These studies were independently reviewed by two radiologists and scored for anatomical tube position in three different scenarios: AP view alone, the lateral view alone, and both views together, with the latter serving as the gold standard. The anatomical scores were subsequently grouped to reflect clinically significant scenarios. Comparative analysis was performed with the original and clinically grouped scores.
A total of 102 patients and 306 separate two-view exams were evaluated. Of the 102 patients, 55 had at least two separate exams. Across raters, concordances of AP and lateral scores relative to the gold standard assessment were 88% and 73% for anatomical scores, and 91.5% and 86.4% for clinically grouped data. Trend differences for fewer errors were found with the AP compared to the lateral view. There were statistically significant group differences with a greater number of false-negative errors in the lateral data set. No clear differences were found when comparing AP and lateral ratings for false-positive errors. Upon review of the common errors, we determined a few imaging findings on AP radiographs that can help assess the need for an additional lateral view.
A single AP view is sufficient to determine the NDT position in most cases. Two views should be reserved for cases where the NDT position cannot be definitively assessed. Transitioning toward the single AP view to evaluate the NDT position could have immediate consequences for dose reduction.
KeywordsDose reduction Gastrointestinal tract Neonates Radiography Nasoduodenal tube Feeding tube
Special thanks to Andreea T. Stanescu for her contribution with Fig. 1.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflicts of interest
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