Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease In Children: How Much We Know?

Hatice Eke Güngör
Fulya Gülerman
Serap Özmen


Objective: Gastroesophageal refl ux disease (GERD) can manifest with various clinical presentations and accompany to several diseases. Th is study aimed to assess presenting complaints, clinical characteristics and comorbid disorder in cases with GERD.

Materials and Methods: We retrospectively reviewed age, gender, presenting complaints, fi ndings of physical examination secondary causes of refl ux, and comorbid disorders in 219 cases aged 1 month-15 years were diagnosed as GERD in Department of Pediatric Gastroenterology, between September, 2003 and December, 2005.

Results: Of 291 cases, 114 (52.1%) were boys. Number of cases aged ≥ 1 years 168 (76.7%) was higher than those aged aged < 1 year. As presenting complaint, gastrointestinal (GIS) complaints (18 cases; 35.2%) were more common among cases aged < 1 year, whereas association of GIS and respiratory complaints (74 cases; 44%) were more frequently observed among cases aged ≥ 1 year. Recurrent vomiting, excessive crying, irritability, and feeding diffi culty were more commonly observed among cases aged < 1 year. Cough, abdominal pain, chest pain and/or heartburn, changes in voice and nausea were found more common among cases aged ≥ 1 year. Th ere was malnutrition in 15 cases (6.8%), short stature in 19 cases (8.6%) according to body weight and height Z scores assessed during physical examination. Growth retardation was more common among cases aged < 1 year when compared to those aged ≥ 1 year, indicating signifi cant diff erence (p< 0.01). Th e most common secondary cause was neurological diseases observed in 6 cases aged < 1 year (46.1%) and 12 cases aged ≥ 1 year (41.3%). When comorbid diseases were considered, asthma was observed in 31 cases whereas Helicobacter pylori gastritis in 28 cases, indicating signifi cant diff erence between cases aged < 1 and ≥ 1 year (p= 0.009).

Conclusion: Cases with suspected GERD should be investigated for extra-gastrointestinal findings. To improve quality of life in such patients, these problems, which tend to be chronic, should be recognized and treated early.


Children, gastroesophageal refl ux, gastroesophageal refl ux disease, clinic, cough
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