Hot Topic: Gastroesophageal reflux and recurrent pulmonary disease

Del Med J. 1989 Oct;61(10):547-54.

Gastroesophageal reflux and recurrent/chronic pulmonary disease in infants and children.

Padman R, Quijano R.


It is now widely recognized that gastroesophageal reflux (GER) causes many symptoms in infants and children; however, the implication of a causal relationship between GER and pulmonary disease still raises skepticism in many clinicians. Recurrent or chronic pulmonary disease (CPD) is a significant cause for morbidity and mortality in infants and children. There is no single, reliable, diagnostic test that consistently demonstrates that pulmonary symptoms are caused directly by GER. This contributes to lack of firm association between GER and CPD. Is GER a contributory factor to the severity of the pulmonary disease, as in chronic asthma? Is it the primary cause of all the respiratory pathophysiology? Or, is GER the result of altered pulmonary mechanics? These are questions that remain unanswered. The purpose of this article is to review the literature raising skepticism among clinicians, paving the way for future directions of research.


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