Objectives: To evaluate the association between the frequency of acid reflux (AR) and weakly acid reflux (WAR) and specific respiratory symptoms (RS) in childhood. Study design: We retrospectively reviewed medical records of children with difficult-to-treat RS, not under acid suppressive therapy, and with a positive multiple intraluminal esophageal impedance (pH/MII) monitoring. To discriminate children with prevalent AR and WAR events, a ROC curve was designed and the distribution of the different RS in children with prevalent AR or WAR events was analyzed. Results: A higher number of AR over WAR events was detected (p <0.0001) but the WAR-to-AR events ratio progressively decreased with the age of the subjects (p <0.01). Similar total number of reflux events was found in the three age group and in children with a more prevalent WAR or AR. The most prevalent RS, equally distributed among the three age groups, were persistent and/or nocturnal cough, wheezy bronchitis/asthma, and recurrent lower respiratory tract infections (RLRTI). Apnoea was most frequent in infants (p = 0.036). A higher frequency of RLRTI, but not of nocturnal cough or wheezy bronchitis/asthma, was shown in WAR as compared with AR patients (p = 0.040), and specifically those in the school-aged group (p = 0.013). Age and WAR were respectively identified as independent predictors of apnoea and RLRTI (p <0.05). Conclusion: WAR events are common in children with gastroesophageal reflux and difficult-to-treat RS and often associated with RLRTI. These findings support the role of pH/MII monitoring in the evaluation of these patients and may explain the disappointing clinical results often observed with anti-acid treatments.
- Multichannel intraluminal impedance
- Respiratory manifestations
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine