Gastroesophageal reflux in infants and children

Sretenović, A.; Perišić, V.; Simić, A.; Živanović, D.; Vujović, D.; Kostić, M.; Peško, P.; Krstić, Z.
March 2008
Acta Chirurgica Iugoslavica;2008, Vol. 55 Issue 1, p47
Academic Journal
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is the most common esophageal disorder and the most frequent reason why infants are referred to the pediatric gastroenterologist, affecting as much as 30% of the pediatric population. Presenting features of GERD in infants and children are quite variable and follow patterns of gastrointestinal and extra-esophageal manifestations that vary between individual patients and may change according to age. Patients may be minimally symptomatic, or may exhibit severe esophagitis, bleeding, nutritional failure, or severe respiratory problems. GERD is also complex for the diagnostic techniques required to assess its repercussions or explain its origin. Although different abnormalities in motility variables, such as lower eso-phageal sphincter (LES) function, esophageal peristalsis and gastric motor activity can contribute to the development of GERD, the degree of esophageal acid exposure represents the key factor in its pathogenesis. Esophageal pH monitoring, based on both the detection of acid reflux episodes and the measurement of their frequency and duration, has been regarded as the most sensitive and specific diagnostic tool for diagnosing reflux disease. The aim of this paper is to give a concise review for the clinicians encountering this specific disease in infants and children.


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