Gastroesophageal reflux in children

Indian J Pediatr. 1999;66(1 Suppl):S52-5.


Gastroesophageal reflux (GOR) is a major cause of morbidity and failure to thrive particularly in neurologically impaired children. Clinical manifestations of GOR in children range from regurgitation, food refusal, irritability, failure to thrive, hematemesis, wheezing and aspiration pneumonia, apnoea and apparent life threatening events in infants to clinically silent reflux. Although, no one test is always best to diagnose GOR, 24 hour esophageal pH monitoring remains the 'gold standard' for diagnosis. Barium radiography is useful for the diagnosis of associated anatomical abnormalities and endoscopy enables a histological diagnosis of esophagitis. Therapy for gastroesophageal reflux disease is now well established. Proper positioning of the baby and thickening of feeds is beneficial in uncomplicated GOR. Prokinetic agents like cisapride should be tried if dietary management and antacids are ineffective. Metoclopramide or domperidone may be tried in neurologically impaired children. H2-receptor antagonists are indicated in GOR complicated by esophagitis. Ranitidine is regarded to be more potent. Cimetidine has additional spectrum of adverse effects and sufficient information is not available on famotidine. Omeprazole has been shown to be effective in treating GOR-esophagitis resistant to H2 antagonist therapy even in high risk patients.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / diagnosis*
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / epidemiology*
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / therapy
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • India / epidemiology
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Factors