Introduction: The prevalence of bronchial hyperreactivity (BHR) or the effect of anti-reflux treatment on BHR in children with asthma and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is not known.
Methods: Thirty non-atopic children with persistent asthma were studied. Extended esophageal pH monitoring was used to diagnose GERD and methacholine challenge test (MCT) was used as a marker of BHR and performed before and 2 years after anti-GERD treatment.
Results: Of the 21 patients positive for GERD (group A), 15 had positive MCT suggesting BHR. Of the 9 patients negative for GERD (group B), 5 had positive MCT. On repeat testing 2 years later, 11/15 group A patients and 3/5 group B patients tested negative for BHR. Group A patients were receiving fewer asthma medications and experienced fewer exacerbations than Group B patients.
Conclusions: BHR is prevalent in children with asthma and GERD and improves with anti-GERD treatment.