Children with spinal muscular atrophy may have difficulty eating due to weak swallowing muscles and poor head control, putting them at risk of aspiration and poor nutrition. Feeding tubes may be an option for children with insufficient caloric intake or impaired oral feeding.1,2

POTENTIAL BENEFITS

CONSIDERATIONS

NASOJEJUNAL OR NASOGASTRIC TUBE

POTENTIAL BENEFITS

  • Short-term solution until a long-term gastrostomy tube can be placed1
  • Recommended for proactive care in non-sitters and sitters following a failed swallow study or growth failure1

CONSIDERATIONS

  • Feeding tubes are commonly used in sitters for supplementary rather than total nutrition1
  • Suggestions for feeding tubes depend on the individual situation1

GASTROSTOMY TUBE (G-TUBE)

POTENTIAL BENEFITS

  • Long-term option for feeding and nutrition in children with SMA1

CONSIDERATIONS

  • Experts prefer that Nissen fundoplication is carried in conjunction with G-tube placement secondary to:1
    • Decreased gastrointestinal motility
    • Reflux
    • Increased pressure related to respiratory treatments
Muscular Atrophy

The clinical spectrum of SMA is highly variable and requires comprehensive medical care involving multiple disciplines.1