Gastroesophageal reflux as a cause of chronic cough, severe asthma, and migratory pulmonary infiltrates

Respirol Case Rep. 2014 Mar;2(1):1-3. doi: 10.1002/rcr2.28. Epub 2013 Nov 7.


Gastroesophageal reflux (GER), asthma-type cough and upper airway disease are the most common causes of chronic cough syndrome. We present a case in which impedance-pH monitoring indicated severe mixed acid-nonacid esophageal reflux reaching the upper third of the esophagus in 75% of nonacid events. GER and the associated aspiration episodes were shown to be the cause of severe asthma attacks and migratory pulmonary infiltrates. GER was caused by a sleeve gastrectomy, which seriously disabled the mechanisms preventing reflux from reaching the airways. Respiratory symptoms improved notably after abdominal surgery to correct the GER, suggesting a close causal relationship between GER and all the symptoms, including asthma. However, this issue remains unresolved in the literature.

Keywords: Asthma; chronic cough; migratory pulmonary infiltrates.