Gastroesophageal reflux in bronchiectasis and the effect of anti-reflux treatment

BMC Pulm Med. 2013 Jun 3;13:34. doi: 10.1186/1471-2466-13-34.


Background: Bronchiectasis is a progressive and fatal disease despite the available treatment regimens. Gastroesophageal reflux (GER) may play an important role in the progression of bronchiectasis. However, active anti-reflux intervention such as Stretta radiofrequency (SRF) and/or laparoscopic fundoplication (LF) have rarely been used to treat Bronchiectasis.

Case presentation: Seven patients' clinical outcomes for treating GER-related deteriorated bronchiectasis were retrospective reviewed. All patients were treated by SRF and/or LF, and had follow-up periods ranging from one to five years. Typical GER symptoms, respiratory symptoms, medication consumption and general health status were assessed during the follow-ups. At the latest follow-up all patients were alive. The typical GER symptoms disappeared in five people and were significantly improved in the other two. Two had complete remissions of both respiratory symptoms and bronchiectasis exacerbations; four had significantly improved respiratory symptoms to mild/moderate degrees as well as reduced or zero bronchiectasis exacerbations, which allowed them to resume the physical and social functions; one's respiratory symptoms and bronchiectasis exacerbations were not much improved, yet she was in stable condition and satisfied with the results.

Conclusions: Potentially, GER plays an important role in some patients with bronchiectasis, and active anti-reflux treatments can be beneficial. Future clinical studies are suggested to clarify GER's role in bronchiectasis and to further determine whether anti-reflux interventions for GER can improve the outcomes of patients with bronchiectasis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bronchiectasis / epidemiology*
  • Bronchiectasis / physiopathology
  • Catheter Ablation / methods*
  • Comorbidity
  • Disease Progression
  • Esophageal pH Monitoring
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Fundoplication / methods*
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / epidemiology*
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / physiopathology
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Laparoscopy / methods*
  • Lung / diagnostic imaging
  • Lung / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Remission Induction
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Treatment Outcome