Gastroesophageal reflux is considered a risk factor for recurrent or persistent upper and lower respiratory tract conditions including asthma, chronic cough, sinusitis, laryngitis, serous otitis and paroxysmal laryngospasm. Fifty-one subjects with recurrent (more than three) episodes of upper respiratory tract infection (URTI), serous otitis or sinusitis who had been admitted to an earnose- throat (ENT) outpatient clinic during the previous year were enrolled in the present study to evaluate the presence of laryngeal and/or esophageal reflux. The participants, who were randomly selected, were questioned about symptoms of reflux, including vomiting, abdominal pain, failure to thrive, halitosis, bitter taste in the mouth, chronic cough, heartburn, constipation and hoarseness. All subjects had an endoscopic examination, an otoscopic examination, a tympanogram and upper GI system endoscopy. Esophagitis was diagnosed endoscopically and histologically. The likelihood of occurrence of esophagitis was found to be higher only among subjects with postglottic edema/erythema as determined by pathological laryngeal examination. The reflux complaints reported did not predict the development of esophagitis, but the odds of esophagitis occurring were ninefold greater among subjects with recurrent otitis. Of the subjects, 45.1% were Helicobacter pylori-positive. However, no association was found between esophagitis and Helicobacter pylori positivity. The likelihood of the occurrence of esophagitis was found to be increased in the presence of recurrent otitis media and/or postglottic edema, irrespective of the presence of reflux symptoms. We concluded that, in contrast to the situation where adults are concerned, the boundaries for discriminating laryngopharyngeal reflux from gastroesophageal reflux are somewhat blurred in pediatric patients.

How to cite

Önal Z, Çullu-Çokuğraş F, Işıldak H, et al. Evaluation of the likelihood of reflux developing in patients with recurrent upper respiratory infections, recurrent sinusitis or recurrent otitis seen in ear-nose-throat outpatient clinics. Turk J Pediatr 2015; 57: 258-265.