A new technique for placement of nasoenteral feeding tubes using external magnetic guidance

Sabry A. Gabriel, Richard J. Ackermann, Manuel R. Castresana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate a new technique in which a hand-held external magnet is used to maneuver nasoenteral feeding tubes through the pylorus and into the duodenum. Design: Prospective case aeries. Setting: Critical care units and medical and surgical wards of a university-affiliated community hospital. Patients: Thirty-five patients were entered into the study after the attending physician requested assistance in tube placement. Interventions: A standard 12-Fr, 114-cm flexible nasoenteral feeding tube was modified by inserting a small magnet into the distal tip. The tube was inserted per nares into the stomach, using traditional technique. Next, an external magnet was placed over the right upper abdominal quadrant, at the midclavicular line to attract the tube tip along the lesser curvature of the stomach, through the pyloric sphincter, and into the duodenum. Portable abdominal radiography performed immediately after the procedure confirmed the anatomic location of the tube tip. Measurements and Main Results: Forty-two intubations were performed in 35 patients (in seven patients, the tube had to be reinserted due to inadvertent removal or surgery). In 37 (88%) of 42 intubations, the tube was passed through the pyloric sphincter and into the duodenum on the first attempt. The mean procedure time was 15 ± g mins (range 10 to 45). There were no complications related to the procedure during the study period. Conclusions: This report describes a novel technique of enteral feeding tube placement, using external magnetic guidance. Transpyloric placement was achieved in 88% of cases. This reliable and convenient bedside method for rapid placement of the tube into the duodenum allows prompt and safe initiation of enteral nutrition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)641-645
Number of pages5
JournalCritical care medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • duodenal intubation
  • enteral feeding tubes
  • magnetic guidance
  • nasoenteral nutrition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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