Preoperative symptom evaluation and esophageal acid infusion predict response to laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication in gastroesophageal reflux patients who present with cough

Surg Endosc. 2002 Jul;16(7):1037-41. doi: 10.1007/s00464-001-8330-4. Epub 2002 Mar 26.


Background: Most patients with cough and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) improve on medical treatment with proton pump inhibitors (PPI). Nonresponders may be considered for antireflux surgery, but the selection of patients is difficult.

Methods: We have performed laparoscopic Nissen fundoplications (LNF) in 677 patients. Of these patients, 81% have undergone 6-month follow-up assessment with 24-h pH testing, esophageal manometry, symptom scores, and quality-of-life scores.

Results: LNF controlled heartburn in 93% and improved cough in 81%. Stepwise multiple regression showed that the preoperative cough score (r = 0.620, p <0.0001) and change in cough on and off PPI (r = 0.296, p = 0.0002) predicted improvement after surgery. A positive result on a randomized acid infusion test was associated with a greater improvement in cough after surgery (p = 0.0243).

Conclusion: An acid infusion test and assessment of cough on and off PPI may be useful preoperative tools for the selection of patients with cough for LNF.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Cough / chemically induced
  • Cough / diagnosis
  • Cough / etiology*
  • Cough / surgery*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Esophagus / drug effects*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Fundoplication / methods*
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / chemically induced
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / complications*
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / diagnosis
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / surgery*
  • Heartburn / etiology
  • Heartburn / surgery
  • Humans
  • Hydrochloric Acid* / administration & dosage
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Infusion Pumps
  • Laparoscopy / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Selection
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Preoperative Care / methods
  • Quality of Life
  • Regression Analysis


  • Hydrochloric Acid