Purpose: Children with cystic fibrosis (CF) have a high prevalence of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). As GERD is associated with chronic respiratory symptoms and feeding problems, fundoplication is often performed in children with CF. Although the outcomes of fundoplication have been described across diverse pediatric groups, there is no published experience with CF.
Methods: The records of 25 children with CF who underwent fundoplication in our center were reviewed. Data on symptoms and diagnostic testing results as well as on complications related to fundoplication were collected. Nutritional parameters and pulmonary function were compared before and after fundoplication.
Results: There was no mortality associated with fundoplication, but 12% had complications that required a subsequent surgical procedure. Whereas 28% were able to discontinue their antireflux medications, 48% developed symptoms of recurrent GERD. Overall, there was no change in body mass index, body mass index percentile, or the slope of forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) after fundoplication. Children who had an FEV1 of less than 60% predicted at the time of fundoplication exhibited an improvement in FEV1 slope compared to those with FEV1 of 60% or more (+5.3% vs -8.6% per year, P = .004).
Conclusion: The complication rate of fundoplication is similar to what has been reported in large series in children without CF. There is a high rate of recurrent GERD and little apparent benefit for either nutritional or pulmonary outcomes. The observed difference on FEV1 slope, in those with moderate-severe vs mild lung disease, highlights the need to thoroughly evaluate the role of fundoplication in children with CF.