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October 1992

Gastropharyngeal Reflux in Infants and Children: A Pharyngeal pH Monitoring Study

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Robert Debré Pediatric Hospital, Xavier Bichat School of Medicine, Paris, France.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1992;118(10):1028-1030. doi:10.1001/archotol.1992.01880100018006

• Gastroesophageal reflux has been shown to play an important role in chronic and acute inflammatory disorders of the airway. In particular, gastroesophageal reflux has been suggested to be the cause of pharyngolaryngeal problems, according to the literature, at any age. However, to our knowledge, the presence of acid in the pharynx in pathological cases has not yet been proved. A series of eight patients (aged 2 months to 7.5 years) with recurrent acute laryngotracheitis underwent a two-channel pH monitoring for 23 to 24 hours. One pH probe was placed in the lower esophagus, the other in the pharynx, at the level of the epiglottis. Acid gastroesophagopharyngeal reflux was demonstrated in every patient. A significant difference with a series of six control subjects was noted in terms of esophageal and pharyngeal pH monitoring. The most significant item is the total time the pH in the pharynx was below 6. Despite the limited number of patients, this study suggests the role of gastroesophageal reflux in recurrent laryngotracheitis in infants and children.

(Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1992;118:1028-1030)

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