Fundoplication and gastrostomy in familial dysautonomia

J Pediatr. 1991 Mar;118(3):388-94. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3476(05)82152-3.


Fundoplication with gastrostomy has become a frequent treatment for patients with familial dysautonomia, so we evaluated the use of both procedures in 65 patients. Although patients differed widely in presenting signs and age, from 5 weeks to 40 years, gastroesophageal reflux was documented in 95% of patients by cineradiography or pH monitoring. Panendoscopy was a useful adjunct. Preoperative symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux included vomiting, respiratory infections, and exaggerated autonomic dysfunction. Severe oropharyngeal incoordination frequently coexisted and resulted in misdirected swallows with aspiration, dependence on gavage feedings, or poor weight gain and dehydration. Follow-up after surgical correction ranged from 3 months to 11 years; 55 patients (85%) were available for a 1-year postoperative assessment. We had no instances of surgical death. The long-term mortality rate was 14%, primarily related to severe preexisting respiratory disease. Beyond the first postoperative year, 30 patients had pneumonia attributed to continued aspiration, exacerbation of preexisting lung disease, or recurrence of gastroesophageal reflux. Of 11 patients who vomited postoperatively, six had recurrence of reflux. Recurrence of gastroesophageal reflux was documented in eight patients (12%), and we revised the fundoplication in three patients. The number of patients with cyclic crises was reduced from 18 to 7; retching replaced overt vomiting in all but two of these seven patients, neither of whom had recurrence of reflux. Because oropharyngeal incoordination was prominent, concomitant use of gastrostomy and an antireflux procedure was especially effective in the treatment of younger patients with familial dysautonomia, before the development of severe respiratory disease. Despite the development of severe morning nausea in 15 patients, the combination procedure resulted in significantly improved nutritional status, decreased vomiting, and decreased respiratory problems. Appropriate use of gastrostomy feedings also contributed to success of the operation. The generally good outcome of fundoplication with gastrostomy confirms the benefit of this procedure in familial dysautonomia.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Deglutition Disorders / surgery
  • Dysautonomia, Familial / surgery*
  • Esophagoscopy
  • Esophagus / physiopathology
  • Esophagus / surgery*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / diagnosis
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / physiopathology
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / surgery
  • Gastrostomy*
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Nutritional Status
  • Pneumonia / prevention & control
  • Recurrence
  • Stomach / surgery*
  • Vomiting / surgery