[Gastroesophageal reflux: a pulmonologist's viewpoint]

J Med Liban. 2002 Jan-Apr;50(1-2):50-6.
[Article in French]


Gastroesophageal reflux (GER) is a common situation that can express with digestive, extra-digestive, respiratory or otolaryngologic symptoms. Some chronic pulmonary disorders include in their setting GER as well. This review will address pathogenesis, clinical signs, complications and treatment of GER with a special focus towards the pulmonologist field. GER is a physiological post-prandial phenomenon of limited duration. It is induced by transient lower esophageal sphincter relaxation (tLESR) or by factors that impede LES function by reducing its tone or disrupting its contractions. Extra-digestive symptoms are caused by vagal stimulation through common autonomic pathways to the esophagus and bronchi. This reflex is triggered by gastric acid stimulation of esophageal receptors and by acid micro-aspirations into the airways. The responsibility of GER towards respiratory symptoms is often difficult to attest despite thorough investigations. Results of one to three-month treatment trial with proton pump inhibitors can be of value. Gastroesophageal assessment is mandatory as pulmonary manifestations might indicate disease severity.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Esophagogastric Junction / physiology
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux* / complications
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux* / etiology
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux* / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / etiology*