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July 1977

Polyurethane Tubing for Transpyloric Intubation

Author Affiliations

USN University of California, San Diego La Jolla, CA 92093; USN Little Creek Amphibious Base Norfolk, VA 23521; USN Department of Pediatrics Naval Regional Medical Center Portsmouth, VA 23708

Am J Dis Child. 1977;131(7):811-812. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1977.02120200091021

Transpyloric intubation, introduced by Rhea and associates1 in 1970, is one approach to the problem of feeding the premature or severely ill neonate. However, Rhea's technique,1.2 is cumbersome because the silastic tubing used requires that a separate introducer be passed into the stomach. In 1973, Cheek and Staub3 reported a simplified technique using French 5 polyvinyl chloride (PVC) tubing, thus eliminating the introducer and gold weight. Polyvinyl chloride tubing has proved to be unsuitable because it becomes stiff within 24 hours of contact with small bowel contents.4-8 Di-(2-ethylhexy1)-phthlate (DEHP), a plasticizer comprising 40% of the dry weight of PVC tubing, leaches out of the tubing and may be absorbed by the patient." The toxicity of DEHP is presently unknown. The unsuitability of silastic and PVC tubing prompted this evaluation of polyurethane, a substance used in vascular implant surgery,10.11 as an alternative material for transpyloric intubation.