Gastroesophageal reflux in children with recurrent and chronic respiratory diseases: non-acid or acid?

Original Research


Introduction: In some cases, gastroesophageal reflux (GER) may be accompanied by duodenogastric reflux, forming non-acid reflux, which has a certain influence on the clinical presentation and the response to anti-reflux therapy. The study aimed to determine the role of non-acid reflux in children with recurrent and chronic respiratory diseases (RCRD).

Methods: All children with RCRD, for unknown reason, poorly responding to respiratory-specific therapy, hospitalized for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) screening, using dual pH-multichannel intraluminal impedance (pH-MII).

Results: The study was conducted in 42 children at the age Me – 2.75; IQR 1.08-9.42. The most common type of reflux was weakly acid reflux - 62.25 [36.425-121.225], then acid - 34.05 [12.875-71.65], alkaline - 1.75 [0 - 12.375] episodes per day (p <0.05). Non-acid reflux was more common in children with only respiratory symptoms - no esophageal manifestations of GERD. All types of refluxes were more often recorded in the upright compared to the supine position. In 70% patients, cough could be associated with reflux, while in 88% children reflux was non-acid (including 69% - weakly acid, 19% - alkaline), in 38% - acid.

Conclusions: Non-acid reflux is the main type of GER in children with RCRD refractory to standard therapy, which could be associated with cough in this patient population. 

Graphical abstract