Gastroesophageal reflux in asthmatic children not responding to asthma medication: a scintigraphic study in 126 patients with correlation between scintigraphic and clinical findings of reflux

Clin Imaging. Sep-Oct 2003;27(5):333-6. doi: 10.1016/s0899-7071(02)00555-7.


Gastroesophageal reflux (GER) is frequently found in association with asthma. Successful control of GER in these patients may improve in their asthma symptoms. The present retrospective analysis was undertaken to find out the incidence of GER in asthmatic children not responding to routine antiasthmatic medications and to find out if there is a clinical correlation between the symptoms of GER and scintigraphic evidence of GER in these patients. A total of 126 children with a mean age of 2.31 years and range 6 months to 6 years were evaluated. The children were divided into two groups. Group I (n = 100) consisted of children with asthma but no clinical symptoms of GER. Group II (n = 26) consisted of those children with asthma and clinical symptoms of GER. Radionuclide scintigraphy was performed with 100-200 microCi (3.7-7.4 MBq) of Tc99m-sulphur colloid. All 33 out of 126 (26%) children had GER on scintigraphy. In Group I, only 23 (23%) had reflux while in Group II, 10 (38.5%) had reflux. In conclusion, esophageal scintiscanning can be used to detect GER in asthmatic children refractory to routine antiasthmatic medication irrespective of the presence or absence of symptoms suggestive of GER.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Asthma / complications*
  • Asthma / drug therapy
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child, Preschool
  • Esophagus / diagnostic imaging*
  • Female
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / complications*
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Technetium Tc 99m Sulfur Colloid


  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Technetium Tc 99m Sulfur Colloid