TitleAssociation of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease in Young Children with Persistent Respiratory Symptoms
AuthorsJain A., Patwari A. K., Bajaj P., Kashyap R., Anand V. K.
PublicationJ Trop Pediatr. 2002 Feb; 48(1):39-42.
AbstractForty children aged between 3 months and 3 years (median age 14 months) with persistent respiratory symptoms beyond 4 weeks or recurrence of respiratory symptoms were investigated for gastroesophageal reflux (GER). Diagnostic tests included upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, oesophageal biopsy, gastroesophageal scintiscan and 24 h ambulatory oesophageal pH monitoring. GER was detected in 14 (35 per cent) of these patients; which included 38 per cent of the enrolled cases of recurrent bronchopneumonia, 40 per cent cases of reactive airway disease, and 22 per cent cases of persistent cough. Amongst the cases detected to have GER, the age of onset of respiratory symptoms was less than 1 year in 86 per cent of cases (p < 0.01), nocturnal symptoms of cough and wheeze were reported in 78 per cent (p < 0.05), and 86 per cent cases did not present with typical gastrointestinal symptoms (p < 0.01). Family history of asthma was absent in all cases of GER-related reactive airway disease (p < 0.01). Cases detected to have GER were followed for 3-6 months after starting anti-reflux therapy. A significant (p < 0.01) decrease was noticed in the number of further episodes in children with GER-related recurrent bronchopneumonia and reactive airway disease after starting anti-reflux therapy. Improvement was also noticed in nocturnal symptoms and nutritional status after anti-reflux therapy was started. Our results suggest that GER may be one of the possible contributing factors in any child with recurrent and persistent respiratory complaints. Early diagnosis and anti-reflux therapy in cases with GER-related respiratory complaints can result in significant improvement in symptoms.