For people with advanced dementia who are permanently recumbent, aspiration is a serious risk. Aspiration and malnutrition are common in these patients. Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomies are commonly used to reduce the risk of aspiration pneumonia and to provide “adequate nutrition and hydration.”
There are essentially no good randomized controlled trials of whether this intervention is effective for these indications. There is a priori little reason to believe that feeding via PEG-tube reduces the risks of aspiration pneumonia. The major adverse outcomes attributable to malnutrition are not improved in patients receiving tube feeding.