Association between body positioning and gastroesophageal reflux in paediatric age

Paolo Quitadamo, Renato Tambucci, Annalisa Alessandrella, Marialuisa Andreozzi, Monica Malamisura, Sara Isoldi, Tamara Caldaro, Letizia Zenzeri, Alberto Verrotti, Paola De Angelis, Paolo Siani, Annamaria Staiano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


AIM: Postural measures are frequently recommended for gastroesophageal reflux (GER) symptoms, despite limited evidence. This was the first study to assess the impact of upright and recumbent body positions on GER episodes in children and adolescents, not just infants.

METHODS: We retrospectively assessed the pH-impedance parameters of paediatric patients referred for possible GER-related symptoms to two hospitals in Naples and Rome, Italy, from September 2016 to September 2018. Data were separately obtained for the time that the patients spent in upright and recumbent positions.

RESULTS: Data from 187 patients under the age of 18 were collected, at a mean age of just over seven years. We found that the acid exposure time was stable irrespective of changes in body position (P > .05). The mean number of reflux episodes per hour was 2.99 during the upright position and 1.21 during the recumbent position (P < .05), and the mean oesophageal acid clearance time was 44.4 and 93.4 seconds, respectively (P < .05).

CONCLUSION: Most paediatric patients experienced reflux in the upright rather than recumbent position, probably as a result of frequent transient lower oesophageal sphincter relaxations while they were awake. In particular, our findings provide new insights into postural measures for reflux in children and adolescents.

Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Paediatrica, International Journal of Paediatrics
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Oct 10 2019


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