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J R Soc Med

Prevalence and mechanisms of gastro-oesophageal reflux in adult cystic fibrosis patients.

Year 1998
Ledson MJ. Tran J. Walshaw MJ.
Regional Adult Cystic Fibrosis Unit, Cardiothoracic Centre, Liverpool, UK.
Gastro-oesophageal reflux (GOR) occurs frequently in children with cystic fibrosis (CF) but has not been studied in adult CF. We surveyed such symptoms by structured questionnaire in 50 adult CF patients (mean age 26 years, range 16-50; 24 male) and performed oesophageal manometry and 24-hour pH recording in 10 who had reflux symptoms (mean age 28 years, range 21-35; 8 men). 47 patients (94%) had upper gastrointestinal symptoms: 40 (80%) heartburn (27 worse when supine); 26 (52%) regurgitation; and 28 (56%) dyspepsia. At oesophageal manometry, lower oesophageal sphincter barrier pressure (LOSBP) was subnormal in 6 of the 10 patients and 3 had uncoordinated peristalsis in the mid oesophagus. 8 patients had raised DeMeester scores, indicating significant GOR. Those patients with a LOSBP < 5mm Hg had a higher DeMeester score (mean 81.0, range 47.9-128.8) than the patients with a normal LOSBP (26.9, 8.7-56.5; p < 0.002). These results show that adult CF patients have high rates of GOR symptoms, diminished LOSBP, and acid reflux.

Tracheal microaspiration in adult cystic fibrosis.

Year 1998
Ledson MJ. Wilson GE. Tran J. Walshaw MJ.
Regional Adult Cystic Fibrosis Unit, Cardiothoracic Centre, Liverpool, UK.
Gastro-oesophageal reflux (GOR) has been implicated in the aetiology of lung disease. Cystic fibrosis (CF) patients have a high incidence of GOR symptoms with demonstrable episodes of oesophageal acidification. We studied 24-hour ambulatory tracheal and oesophageal pH in 11 CF patients with GOR symptoms to identify any episodes of tracheal acidification and define their temporal relation to oesophageal reflux and respiratory symptoms. 8 patients had evidence of significant GOR (DeMeester score mean 58; range 17-107) and in 6 it was gross (DeMeester score > 30). 4 patients had tracheal acidification (defined as tracheal pH < 5.5): all had greatly raised DeMeester scores. Two patterns of lowered tracheal pH were seen: a gradual drift downwards of tracheal pH to < 5.5 which recovered slowly, and an acute fall in tracheal pH to < 5.5 with rapid recovery. Only one patient had a fall in peak expiratory flow in conjunction with a decline in tracheal pH, and no association was found between the presence of tracheal microaspiration and pulmonary function. We conclude that tracheal acidification occurs in adult CF patients with GOR.

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