Saturday April 29, 2006
Nasogastric tube syndrome
Q; 65 year old female admitted to ICU 9 days ago with small bowel obstruction. Pt. is now stable and actually is about to get transferred out of unit. Patient suddenly start complaining of choking sensation with two hands on neck. Monitor shows oxygen desaturation. Patient intubated emergently. No laryngeal or vocal edema seen on laryngoscope but vocal cord paralysis noted.
A; Nasogastric tube syndrome : Nasogastric tube syndrome was described about 25 years ago by Sofferman and coll. It is a life-threatening complication of an indwelling (more than a week) nasogastric tube. The syndrome may present as complete vocal cord abductor paralysis. The syndrome is thought to result from perforation of the NG tube-induced esophageal ulcer and infection of the posterior cricoid region (postcricoid chondritis) with subsequent dysfunction of vocal cord abduction. Unilateral paralysis of cord is also described. Treatment is protection of airway, removal of NG tube and antibiotics. Some advocates antireflux therapy too. Another variant is described with no esophageal ulcer but possibly because of ischemia of the laryngeal abductor muscle secondary to physical compression of the postcricoid blood vessels by NG tube .
References: Please click to get abstract
1. The nasogastric tube syndrome: two case reports and review of the literature. Head Neck. 2001 Jan;23(1):59-63.
2. A variant form of nasogastric tube syndrome. Intern Med. 2005 Dec;44(12):1286-90.
3. Case Report - Nasogastric Tube Syndrome: The Unilateral Variant - Medical Principles and Practice Vol. 12, No. 1, 2003
4. Sofferman, R.A. and Hubbell, R.N., "Laryngeal Complications of Nasogastric Tubes," ANNALS OTOLOGY, RHINOLOGY, AND LARYNGOLOGY, 90:465-468, 1981.