Increased incidence of delayed gastric emptying in children with gastroesophageal reflux. A prospective evaluation

Arch Surg. 1989 Aug;124(8):933-6. doi: 10.1001/archsurg.1989.01410080065010.


Symptomatic gastroesophageal reflux is a common cause of failure to thrive, aspiration, and chronic pulmonary infection in infants. Gastric emptying was prospectively evaluated in 99 infants and children with symptomatic gastroesophageal reflux. Twenty-eight (28.2%) of 99 patients with gastroesophageal reflux had delayed gastric emptying. Twenty-one (75%) of the 28 patients underwent a concomitant gastric drainage procedure at the time of fundoplication. Seven had fundoplication alone and developed symptoms of early satiety, gas bloat, gagging, and pain postoperatively. Medical therapy was ineffective in these patients, and 5 improved after pyloroplasty. Delayed gastric emptying is common in patients with gastroesophageal reflux. These findings suggest that after fundoplication, symptoms of gagging, early satiety, and gas-bloat syndrome may be related to delayed gastric emptying. This implies that a gastric emptying study should be performed preoperatively.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Failure to Thrive / etiology
  • Female
  • Gastric Emptying*
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / complications
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / physiopathology*
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / surgery
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Prospective Studies
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / etiology