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The Effect of Continuous Versus Enteral Pump Feeding in Aspiration in Tube Fed Patients

This study has been completed.
Information provided by:
Chinese University of Hong Kong Identifier:
First received: September 12, 2005
Last updated: February 2, 2009
Last verified: February 2009


Tube feeding had been found to be a cause of aspiration pneumonia. Continuous pump feeding at slower rates as compared to bolus feeding may be less associated with aspiration pneumonia.


Randomized controlled trial


Patients expected to remain on tube feeding for 4 or more weeks


1) pneumonia, 2) mortality

Condition Intervention
Aspiration Pneumonia Device: continuous pump feeding Other: intermittent bolus feeding

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Single
Primary Purpose: Prevention
Official Title: The Effect of Continuous vs Enteral Pump Feeding in Aspiration in Tube Fed Patients

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Chinese University of Hong Kong:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • pneumonia [ Time Frame: within 4 weeks ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • mortality [ Time Frame: within 4 weeks ]

Estimated Enrollment: 222
Study Start Date: September 2002
Study Completion Date: December 2007
Primary Completion Date: December 2007 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Detailed Description:

Eligible subjects are randomized into 2 groups by random numbers generated by a computer programme: intermittent bolus feeding versus continuous feeding via a delivery pump.

Baseline Assessment:

Clinical details including background medical diagnoses, indications for enteral feeding, functional status and baseline CXR findings are recorded.

Tube Feeding Regime:

The choice of feeding formula and feeding volume will be guided by 2 dietitians collaborating in this study. Giving sets for continuous pump feeding are changed everyday.

Pump feeding is defined at delivery rate <60ml/hr. In order to avoid interfering with rehabilitative activities, pump feeding can be discontinued for no more than eight hours during the day. Bolus feeding is defined as no more than 400ml/hr, 4 to 5 times per day.

All subjects are reviewed to monitor complications arising from enteral feeding. Free pump feeding sets will be provided for an extra 2 weeks for pump feeding group subjects discharged before the end of the trial. All subjects discharged prior to the end of trial will be contacted regularly by a research assistant until completion or outcome is reached.

Outcome Pneumonia is diagnosed in the presence of 2 major clinical signs: increased sputum production and pneumonic changes in the CXR (according to radiologist report), or in the presence of one major sign and 2 of the following minor clinical signs: raised or depressed white cell count, hypoxia at room air (PaO2 <92%) and body temperature greater than 38%. When the criteria for pneumonia are fulfilled, the trial will be terminated.

All the subjects are followed up for four weeks or until outcome is reached (i.e. pneumonia). Mode of tube feeding on discharge will be decided by the attending physicians, patients and family members.


Ages Eligible for Study:   Child, Adult, Senior
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • patients likely to need tube feeding for another 4 weeks

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Patients already on pump feeding.
  • Active sepsis: fever, abnormal white cell count
  • CXR shadowing
  • Chronic hypoxia (O2 saturation <92% on room air)
  • Patients who have a history of recurrent self-extubation.
  • Short life expectancy (within weeks)
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00164957

China, Hong Kong
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
Sponsors and Collaborators
Chinese University of Hong Kong
Principal Investigator: Timothy CY Kwok, MD Chinese University of Hong Kong
  More Information Identifier: NCT00164957     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: RCT-pumpfeeding
Study First Received: September 12, 2005
Last Updated: February 2, 2009

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Pneumonia, Aspiration
Lung Diseases
Respiratory Tract Diseases
Respiratory Tract Infections processed this record on September 20, 2017