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Minerva Pediatrica 2019 December;71(6):515-23

DOI: 10.23736/S0026-4946.19.05531-2


language: English

Gastroesophageal reflux and respiratory diseases: does a real link exist?

Annarita BONGIOVANNI 1, Giuseppe F. PARISI 1 , Maria G. SCUDERI 2, Amelia LICARI 3, Ilaria BRAMBILLA 3, Gian L. MARSEGLIA 3, Salvatore LEONARDI 1

1 Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Catania, Catania, Italy; 2 Department of Medical, Surgical Sciences and Advanced Technologies, University of Catania, Catania, Italy; 3 Department of Pediatrics, San Matteo Polyclinic Hospital, IRCCS and Foundation, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy

INTRODUCTION: Gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) indicates a gastroesophageal reflux that causes symptoms such as pain, and needs medical therapy, and may result in complications such as erosive esophagitis, aspiration pneumonia. Here, we review if it exists a real link between clinical presentation of some respiratory diseases such as asthma, chronic cough, cystic fibrosis and laryngopharyngitis and GERD.
EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: This review was conducted employing 2 databases: PubMed and Science Direct.
EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: Asthma may lead to reflux, and reflux could exacerbate asthma or cause asthma-like symptoms. Prevalence of GERD in children with asthma ranged from as low 32% to as high 80%. There are several studies where the use of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) and histamine H2 receptor antagonists lead to inconclusive results. The relation of chronic unexplained cough to GERD remains controversial in children and pediatric guidelines do not currently recommend empirical GERD treatment trials for pediatric chronic cough. Gastroesophageal reflux is more frequent in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) than general population. Although PPIs are regularly prescribed in approximately half of the patients with CF, there are no specific guidelines for treatment of reflux in CF and it was shown that chronic treatment with PPIs was correlated to possible increased risk of exacerbations.
CONCLUSIONS: The pathogenesis of GER-related respiratory symptoms is multifactorial. The causal relationship between these two conditions may be difficult to prove also with the aid of supporting tests. Multichannel intraluminal impedance associated with pH-metry (pH/MII) detect all gastroesophageal reflux episodes accompanied with a bolus movement and classify GER episodes according to their content (liquid, gas and mixed), pH value and proximal extension. There are no consistent evidences confirming the validity of medical therapy in reflux with respiratory symptoms.

KEY WORDS: Gastroesophageal reflux; Asthma; Laryngitis; Therapeutics; Proton pumb inhibitors; Cystic fibrosis

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