Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is associated with accelerated decline in lung health in children with cystic fibrosis (CF). Thus, antireflux surgery (ARS) is offered to a selected CF cohort with refractory GERD, but outcomes remain poorly investigated. This study aimed to determine the incidence of GERD in children with CF and to evaluate complications and outcomes of ARS.
A systematic literature-based search was conducted using various online databases according to Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. The number of GERD cases in pediatric CF cohorts who underwent diagnostic investigation(s) was recorded. Data on postoperative complications and outcomes (including symptoms, lung function, and nutritional status) following ARS were analyzed.
Ten articles ( = 289 patients) met the defined inclusion criteria (51% male; age range, 0.5 month-36 years). The overall incidence of GERD was 46% (range, 19-81%), derived from seven studies ( = 212 patients). Four publications ( = 82 patients) reported on ARS due to uncontrolled GERD. All ARSs were Nissen fundoplication (majority with gastrostomy placement). Major postoperative complications occurred in 15 (18%) patients, two required redo-ARS. Median follow-up time was 2 years (range, 3 months-6 years); 59% showed symptom improvement, and pulmonary exacerbations and decline in lung function were reduced. Nutritional status mainly improved in milder CF cases. There were no deaths related to ARS.
Approximately half of pediatric CF patients have GERD. Published data for children with CF are limited and heterogeneous in terms of GERD diagnosis and outcomes following ARS. However, ARS has shown to slow the deterioration of lung function in CF.
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