This study aimed to define the incidence and severity of gastro-oesophageal reflux (GOR), as measured using 24 hour oesophageal pH monitoring, in 38 infants with recurrent respiratory symptoms and to relate these findings to measures of respiratory function. Twenty one infants had a pH under 4 for more than 5% of the time (one definition of abnormal GOR) and nine had GOR exceeding age related normal values. Maximum expiratory flow at functional residual capacity was reduced in 37 infants, airways resistance was raised in 19 infants, and thoracic gas volume was abnormal in 11 infants. There was no association between indices of GOR and measures of lung function whether assessed by correlation or by chi 2 analysis for normal versus abnormal values. However, individual infants appeared to have respiratory symptoms produced by GOR. This suggests that host responsiveness to GOR may be of greater relevance than the amount of GOR.
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