Frequency, consequences and pharmacological treatment of gastroesophageal reflux in children with cystic fibrosis

Med Sci Monit. 2002 Jul;8(7):CR529-37.


Background: Gastroesophageal reflux (GER) may aggravate chronic bronchopulmonary diseases. The study evaluated GER frequency and characteristics in children with Cystic Fibrosis (CF) as well as its consequences and pharmacological treatment.

Material/methods: 40 CF children aged 1.3 to 20 years were examined. The study methodology involved: medical files analysis, anamnesis, physical examination, growth status estimation, esophageal pH-metry and upper gastrointestinal tract endoscopy with histological examination of esophageal biopsies.

Results: Based on pH-metry results, the diagnosis of GER was established in 22 children (55%). Mild GER (Index Reflux - IR 5-10%) was found in 12 children (54.5%), moderate GER (IR 10-20%) in 7 (31.8%) and severe GER (IR>20%) in 3 (13.6%). Ten patients with moderate or severe GER underwent endoscopy, which revealed GER-related esophagitis in 8 cases. There was no statistical difference of GER frequency and degree according to: age, sex, growth status, presence of type DF508 mutation in CFTR genome and typical GERD symptoms. According to the ESPGAN proposition, cisapride or cisapride with ranitidine medication was instituted. Treatment analysis was performed in 19 cases after successful follow-up examinations carried out three months later, indicating a significant decrease in reflux index, the longest episode duration and the number of episodes longer than 5 minutes. Improvement of endoscopic picture was noticed after treatment.

Conclusions: High frequency of gastroesophageal reflux and its consequences among children with cystic fibrosis, as well as the possibility of well-tolerated and efficient treatment of GER, indicate that diagnostics of GER among children with CF should be obligatory.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anti-Ulcer Agents / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cisapride / therapeutic use
  • Cystic Fibrosis / complications*
  • Endoscopy
  • Esophagitis / drug therapy
  • Female
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / complications*
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / drug therapy
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / epidemiology
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / pathology
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Ranitidine / therapeutic use


  • Anti-Ulcer Agents
  • Ranitidine
  • Cisapride