Gastro-oesophageal reflux and oesophageal dysfunction in children and adolescents with brain damage

Acta Paediatr. 1994 Oct;83(10):1081-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.1994.tb12990.x.


The prevalence of pathological gastro-oesophageal reflux (GOR) and oesophageal dysfunction (OD) was investigated in 32 children, 0.7-19 years of age (mean 11.2 years), with brain damage, mainly severe cerebral palsy and tetraplegia. They underwent 24-h pH monitoring in the distal oesophagus and oesophageal manometry. In addition, radiological examination of the oesophagus, chest radiography, blood counts and blood tests for iron deficiency were carried out. Fifteen (47%) patients had mild pathological acid reflux, 5 (16%) had moderately severe and 5 (16%) severe acid GOR. Seven of 32 (22%) patients had no pathological GOR. Ten patients had abnormal manometry findings and 9 had a pathological radiological oesophagus examination. Three patients had radiographic lung consolidations. Thirteen patients had iron deficiency and 5 were anaemic. Two patients with severe acid reflux have died, presumably from aspiration-induced pneumonia. Findings of OD and GOR are frequent in children with brain damage and are related to significant complications, including fatal course.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Brain Injuries / complications*
  • Brain Injuries / physiopathology
  • Cerebral Palsy / complications
  • Cerebral Palsy / physiopathology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Esophageal Diseases / etiology*
  • Esophageal Diseases / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / etiology*
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Monitoring, Ambulatory
  • Quadriplegia / complications
  • Quadriplegia / physiopathology