What is the role of nasogastric tube in the workup of pediatric gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding?

Updated: Dec 19, 2018
  • Author: Wayne Wolfram, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Robert K Minkes, MD, PhD  more...
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Answer

Children whose history and physical findings suggest significant bleeding from an upper GI source receive a nasogastric tube for diagnostic purposes.

Return of coffee-ground-like material or Gastroccult-positive material confirms an upper GI bleed.

Still, the false-negative rate is 16% if duodenopyloric regurgitation is absent. Therefore, a clear nasogastric aspirate alone cannot be used to rule out of a GI bleed.


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