An investigation of supplementary naso-gastric feeding in malnourished children undergoing treatment for malignancy: results of a pilot study


Harrogate General Hospital, Knaresborough Road, Harrogate, UK.


Although parenteral nutrition is frequently administered to children undergoing treatment for malignancy, the use of naso-gastric feeding had been little studied. A randomized, controlled trial of supplementary naso-gastric feeding in children with newly diagnosed malignancy was therefore performed. Results showed that, contrary to popular belief, naso-gastric feeding is acceptable to and tolerated by children with malignancy even shortly after diagnosis and is welcomed by their parents. Naso-gastric feeding increased energy intake, promoted improvement in nutritional status as measured by mid-upper arm circumference and appeared to increase general well-being. Further studies are being undertaken to determine whether naso-gastric supplementary feeding is also of objective benefit.