J Asthma Allergy Clin Immunol.  1999 Aug;19(4):576-583.

Prevalence of gastroesophageal reflux in infants with recurrent wheezing

Abstract

Background
: Recurrent wheezing in infants is manifested in a number of disease spectrums and gastroesophageal reflux ( GER ) has been known to be associated with apnea, recurrent pneumonia, asthma, chronic cough, and wheezing. The prevalence of GER in infants with recurrent wheezing and the relationship between atopy and GER in infantile asthmatics have not yet been established, but it was hypothesized that microaspiration of food allergen could induce food-induced wheezing. Objective : To evaluate the prevalence of GER in infants with recurrent wheezing episodes, and to determine whether the presence of atopy affects the prevalence of GER in infantile asthmatics. Method : Seventy infants with recurrent wheezing episodes were evaluated for GER using 24 hour continuous esophageal pH monitoring. Patients were classified into five groups, : 12 atopic asthmatics : 20 nonatopic asthmatics : 15 infants with recurrent bronchiolitis : 8 infants with recurrent pneumonia : and 15 infants with chronic lung disease ( CLD ) of prematurity. GER was considered to be prevalent when reflux index was higher than 95 percentile of normal values by Vandenplas, 1991. Result : The prevalence of GER in infants with recurrent wheezing was 21.4%. The prevalence of GER in each group was 25% in atopic asthmatics, 20% in nonatopic asthmatics, 6.7% in infants with recurrent bronchiolitis, 12.5% in infants with recurrent pneumonia, and 40% in infants with CLD of prematurity. There were no significant differences in prevalence of GER between atopic asthmatics and nonatopic asthmatics, between asthmatics with atopic dermatitis and those without, and between asthmatics with family history of allergy and those without.
CONCLUSION
The prevalence of GER in infants with recurrent wheezing was high, especially in infantile asthmatics and infants with chronic lung disease of prematurity. The presence of atopy may not affect the prevalence of GER in infantile asthmatics.

Keyword

recurrent wheezing; gastroesophageal reflux; infantile asthma; atopy

MeSH Terms

Apnea
Asthma
Bronchiolitis
Cough
Dermatitis, Atopic
Esophageal pH Monitoring
Gastroesophageal Reflux*
Humans
Hypersensitivity
Infant*
Lung Diseases
Pneumonia
Prevalence*
Reference Values
Respiratory Sounds*
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