Esophageal atresia (EA) is the most common congenital anomaly of the gastrointestinal tract. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a frequent and lifelong problem in these patients. GERD can be asymptomatic and the incidence of esophageal gastric and intestinal metaplasia (Barrett’s esophagus) is increased in adults with EA compared with the general population. Timely and accurate diagnosis of GERD is important to reduce long-term problems and this may be achieved by pH-impedance testing.
To assess symptoms and pH-impedance data in children after EA, in order to identify their specific features of GERD.
This study was conducted from November 2017 to February 2020 and involved 37 children who had undergone EA open surgical repair (51.35% boys, 48.65% girls; age range: 1-14 years, median: 4.99 years). GERD diagnosis was made based on multichannel intraluminal impedance/pH study and two groups were established: EA without GERD, = 17; EA with GERD, = 20. A control group was established with 66 children with proven GERD (68.18% boys, 31.82% girls; median age: 7.21 years), composed of a nonerosive reflux disease (referred to as NERD) group ( = 41) and a reflux esophagitis group ( = 25). Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy with a mucosal esophageal biopsy was performed on all patients.
The most frequently observed symptom in EA patients with GERD and without GERD was cough (70% and 76.5% respectively). The number of patients with positive symptom association probability in the EA groups was significantly larger in the EA without GERD group ( = 0.03). In the control reflux esophagitis group, prevalence of gastrointestinal symptoms was significantly higher than in the NERD group ( = 0.017). For both EA groups, there was strong correlation with index of proximal events (IPE) and total proximal events (EA with GERD: 0.96, < 0.001; EA without GERD: 0.97, < 0.001) but level of IPE was significantly lower than in GERD patients without any surgical treatment ( < 0.001). Data on distal mean nocturnal baseline impedance were significantly different between the EA with GERD group ( < 0.001) and the two control groups but not between EA without GERD and the two control groups.
Mean nocturnal baseline impedance may have diagnostic value for GERD in EA children after open surgical repair. IPE might be an additional parameter of pH-impedance monitoring.

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