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December 1974

Esophageal Stricture Associated With Nasogastric Intubation

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco.

Arch Intern Med. 1974;134(6):1083-1086. doi:10.1001/archinte.1974.00320240117016

Nasogastric intubation has been implicated as a cause of benign esophageal stricture. To evaluate this association, a retrospective nine-year analysis was made of 200 patients with benign and malignant esophageal obstruction. Only three cases were found in which it appeared likely that esophageal stricture was causally related to nasogastric intubation. Esophageal stricture due to gastric intubation, a lesion of significant morbidity, is rare, possibly because a nasogastric tube may not permanently harm an otherwise normal esophagus. Also, tube-induced strictures may form only in the presence of other adverse host factors. Preventive measures include elevation of the head of the patient's bed, positioning of tubes for feeding or antacid administration above the cardioesophageal junction in alert patients in whom the danger of aspiration is minimal, and administration of antacids through the tube.