Endoscopy 2003; 35(6): 546
DOI: 10.1055/s-2003-39671
Unusual Cases and Technical Notes

© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

Intercostal Positioning of a Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy

M.  Siméon-Gélu 1 , D.  Guimber 1 , L.  Michaud 1 , M.  Bonnevalle 2 , Y.  Robert 3 , D.  Turck 3 , F.  Gottrand 3
  • 1 Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Lille University Faculty of Medicine and Children's Hospital, Lille, France
  • 2 Department of Pediatric Surgery, Lille University Faculty of Medicine and Children's Hospital, Lille, France
  • 3 Department of Pediatric Radiology, Lille University Faculty of Medicine and Children's Hospital, Lille, France
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
03 June 2003 (online)

Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) is a well-accepted procedure in children to supplement nutrition when oral feedings is not possible. One major technical limitation is the need for good transillumination of the stomach through the abdominal wall, under the costal ribs. Stewart et al. have challenged the necessity for good transillumination prior to gastric puncture, reporting a 97 % success rate for PEG tube insertion without transillumination [1].

We report the case of an adolescent in whom a PEG was positioned intercostally. This boy had presented at birth with VACTERL (vertebral, anorectal, cardiovascular, tracheoesophageal, renal and limb) syndrome associated with gastroespohageal reflux disease and scoliosis. He underwent surgery four times during the first years of life, to treat esophageal atresia complicated by mediastinitis, anal imperforation, and Nissen fundoplicature (two occasions). At the age of 15 years, he presented with severe growth retardation, pubertal delay, malnutrition, and dysphagia, related to persistent gastroesophageal reflux and severe esophageal dysmotility.

Gastrostomy for nutritional support was decided upon. Surgical gastrostromy was contraindicated because of multiple mediastinal and abdominal adhesions due to previous surgery. Endoscopy showed by transillumination that the stomach was located under the left ribs. Computed tomography (CT) scan demonstrated a possible puncture point between the 9th and the 10th left ribs, on the axillary line, without visceral interposition.

With the patient under prior generalized analgesia, in the operating room, this point was located by means of ultrasound monitoring, without transillumination. A 16-Fr PEG was easily inserted (Figure [1]). Endoscopic control showed good placement of the collaret. The boy was discharged, for 10 - 12 hours continuous home enteral nutrition, associated with limited food intake. At a 3-year-follow-up, local tolerance of the PEG remained excellent; enteral nutrition was well tolerated without no vomiting nor diarrheal episodes, and pubertal and nutritional catching-up were observed. A gastrostomy button was placed after 20 months (Figure [2]).

Figure 1 Position of the percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy in the ninth intercostal space (arrow).

Figure 2 Position of the gastrostomy button.

Our report demonstrates that inability to transilluminate the stomach should not be considered to be an absolute contraindication to PEG tube insertion. Complementary use of radiological and endoscopic techniques is necessary to locate the puncture site. Intercostal PEG could be a safe and efficient technique for long-term enteral tube feeding in children, with much better psychological tolerance than with a nasogastric tube.


F. Gottrand, M.D.

Unité de Gastroentérologie, Hépatologie et Nutrition
Clinique de Pédiatrie
Hôpital Jeanne de Flandre

2 Avenue Oscar Lambret
59037 Lille Cedex

Fax: + 33-3-2044-5963

Email: fgottrand@chru-lille.fr