Objective: To assess the esophageal function profile and the prevalence of gastro-esophageal reflux (GER) in lung transplant candidates.
Methods: From July of 2005 to November of 2006, a prospective study was conducted involving 55 candidates for lung transplantation at the Santa Casa de Misericórdia Hospital in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Prior to transplantation, patients underwent outpatient stationary esophageal manometry and 24-h esophageal pH-metry using one and two electrodes.
Results: Abnormal esophageal manometry was documented in 80% of the patients, and 24% of the patients presented pathological acid reflux. Digestive symptoms presented sensitivity and specificity for GER of 50% and 61%, respectively. Of the patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, 94% presented abnormal esophageal manometry, and 80% presented lower esophageal sphincter hypotonia, making it the most common finding. Patients with bronchiectasis presented the highest prevalence of GER (50%).
Conclusions: In patients with advanced lung disease, GER is highly prevalent. In the population studied, digestive symptoms of GER were not predictive of pathological acid reflux. The role that GER plays in chronic rejection should be examined and clarified in future studies.