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Case Reports in Pediatrics
Volume 2014, Article ID 872634, 3 pages
Case Report

Aspiration Pneumonitis Caused by Polyethylene Glycol-Electrolyte Solution Treated with Conservative Management

High Risk Children Comprehensive Care Clinic, University of Texas Health Science of Houston, 6410 Fannin Street, Suite 500, Houston, TX 77030, USA

Received 20 February 2014; Revised 2 April 2014; Accepted 4 May 2014; Published 18 May 2014

Academic Editor: Doris Fischer

Copyright © 2014 Ricardo A. Mosquera et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Polyethylene glycol (PEG) electrolyte solution, Golytely, is an osmotic laxative commonly used in preoperative bowel cleansing. In this case report, a 9-year-old boy developed aspiration pneumonitis following accidental infusion of PEG solution into his right lung following migration of his nasogastric tube (NGT). Hypoxemia and tachypnea without respiratory failure were observed after infusion. Because PEG is a nonabsorbable toxic material, previous case reports have advocated for the performance of bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) in the treatment of PEG pneumonitis. With close monitoring, our patient was able to be successfully treated without the need for invasive interventions including BAL or intubation. Generalizations about PEG absorption in the lung based on its permeability in the gastrointestinal tract should not deter the use of more conservative treatment in the appropriate patient.