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Observational Study
, 11 (8), e0160139

Diagnosis and Anti-Reflux Therapy for GERD With Respiratory Symptoms: A Study Using Multichannel Intraluminal Impedance-pH Monitoring

Observational Study

Diagnosis and Anti-Reflux Therapy for GERD With Respiratory Symptoms: A Study Using Multichannel Intraluminal Impedance-pH Monitoring

Chao Zhang et al. PLoS One.


Background/aims: Respiratory symptoms are often associated with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Although the role of multichannel intraluminal impedance-pH (MII-pH) monitoring in GERD is clear, little is known regarding the characteristics of patients with respiratory symptoms based on MII-pH monitoring and anti-reflux therapy. We evaluated a cohort of GERD patients to identify the MII-pH parameters of GERD-related respiratory symptoms and to assess the anti-reflux therapy outcomes.

Methods: We undertook a prospective study of patients who were referred for GERD evaluation from January 2011 to January 2012. One hundred ninety-five patients underwent MII-pH monitoring and esophageal manometry, and one hundred sixty-five patients underwent invasive anti-reflux therapy that included laparoscopic Toupet fundoplication (LTF) and the Stretta procedure. The patient characteristics and MII-pH parameters were analyzed, and the symptom scores were assessed at baseline and at 1- and 3-year follow-up evaluations.

Results: Of the 195 patients, 96 (49.2%) exhibited respiratory symptoms and significantly more reflux episodes (70.7±29.3) than patients without respiratory symptoms (64.7±24.4, p = 0.044) based on the MII-pH monitoring results. Moreover, the group of patients with respiratory symptoms exhibited more proximal reflux episodes (35.2±21.3) than the non-respiratory symptomatic group (28.3±17.9, p = 0.013). One hundred twenty-five patients following the Stretta procedure (n = 60, 31 with respiratory symptoms) or LTF (n = 65, 35 with respiratory symptoms) completed the designated 3-year follow-up period and were included in the final analysis. The symptom scores after anti-reflux therapy all decreased relative to the corresponding baseline values (p<0.05), and there were no significant differences in the control of respiration between the Stretta procedure and LTF (p>0.05). However, LTF significantly reduced the recurrence (re-operation) rate compared with the Stretta procedure (0 vs. 19.4%, p = 0.006).

Conclusions: MII-pH monitoring effectively detected respiratory-related predictive parameters, including total/proximal reflux episodes and symptom correlations. We found that GERD patients with respiratory symptoms exhibited more proximal and total reflux episodes but not more acid-related episodes, as determined by MII-pH monitoring. Thus, such monitoring could be useful for diagnosing atypical GERD patients with respiratory symptoms. Furthermore, LTF exhibited a more significant effect on controlling typical symptoms in all GERD patients and reducing the recurrence rate than the Stretta procedure in patients with respiratory symptoms.

Conflict of interest statement

Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.


Fig 1
Fig 1. Enrollment, group, and follow-up of the study participants.
All patients for whom diagnostic and follow-up data were available were included in the analysis regardless of whether they discontinued treatment.
Fig 2
Fig 2. Positive distribution and consistency of SI and SAP of the respiratory symptoms and non-respiratory symptoms.

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Grant support

This work was supported by the National High Technology Research and Development Program 863 of China (2007AAOZ4Z6 to Z.G. Wang).