The impact of reflux burden on Pseudomonas positivity in children with cystic fibrosis

Pediatr Pulmonol. 2012 Jun;47(6):582-7. doi: 10.1002/ppul.21598. Epub 2011 Dec 7.


Objectives: Nonacid gastroesophageal reflux (GER), particularly in patients taking acid suppression, has been implicated as a cause of respiratory infections. We hypothesize that children with cystic fibrosis (CF) and a higher nonacid reflux burden have greater rates of Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Pa) infection than patients with a lower reflux burden.

Study design: We reviewed the multichannel intraluminal impedance (pH-MII) tracings of 35 patients with CF between 2003 and 2010. We compared the reflux profiles between those patients who were Pa positive and Pa negative.

Results: The mean age was 13.5 ± 5.8 years. Twenty-seven patients (76%) were Pa positive. Ninety seven percent of patients were taking proton pump inhibitors during pH-MII testing. The mean percentage of time pH was <4 was 8.5 ± 12%. Pa patients had a significantly higher total, acid and proximal nonacid reflux burden (P < 0.009). There was a negative correlation between nonacid reflux burden and FEV1 (r = -0.397, P = 0.03) and between total number of reflux events and FEV1 (r = -0.474, P = 0.009). After adjusting for age and FEV1, total reflux burden remains significantly associated with Pa positivity (P = 0.055).

Conclusions: Increased reflux burden may predispose patients to Pa infection and worse lung function.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Cystic Fibrosis / complications*
  • Esophageal pH Monitoring
  • Forced Expiratory Volume
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / complications*
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Lung / physiopathology
  • Lung Diseases / microbiology
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Pseudomonas Infections / complications*
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Young Adult


  • Proton Pump Inhibitors