The Turkish Journal of Pediatrics 2003 , Vol 45 , Num 1
Correlation between gastric acid secretion and severity of acid reflux in children

Department of Pediatrics, A, Hôpital Cochin-Saint Vincent de Paul, Paris,

Laboratory of Biochemistry A, Hôpital Cochin-Saint Vincent de Paul, Paris

Department of Pediatrics, Hôpital Saint Antoine, Université Catholique, Lille-France


The purpose of our study was to systematically evaluate gastric acid output in children with long-lasting gastro-esophageal reflux (GER) in order to assess its mechanism and the need for anti-acid treatment.

The investigation was carried out in 20 males and 10 females, aged 7.5±3.8 years, with prolonged (>15 months) clinical manifestations of GER. All underwent routine ambulatory 24-h esophageal pH-monitoring and measurement of gastric acid secretion including gastric basal (BAO) (mmol/kg/h), maximal (MAO) and peak acid outputs (PAO) after pentagastrin (6 g/kg sec) stimulation. Children with heartburn or abdominal pain underwent upper fiber-endoscopy. In group A (moderate GER, n=12), patients had a normal reflux index (pH<4 below 5.2% of total recording time) despite abnormal Euler and Byrne scoring (median 57, 95% confidence interval 53.5-73.4). In group B (severe GER, n=18, among whom 5 were with grade III esophagitis), reflux index was >5.2%.

When considering all children, esophageal pH (%) was significantly correlated with MAO and PAO, r=0.33, p=0.05 and r=0.37, p=0.04, respectively. Children of group B exhibited significantly higher BAO (75, 53.96-137.81), MAO (468, 394.1-671.3) and PAO (617, 518.8-782.3) than those of group A, BAO (27, 10.8-38.5), MAO (266, 243.2-348.2) and PAO (387, 322.5-452.7), p<0.05). The five children of group B with severe esophagitis exhibited significantly higher BAO, MAO and PAO than the other 13 children from the same group and those of group A, p<0.05.

Children with long-lasting and severe GER hyper-secrete gastric acid. Individual variations in gastric acid secretion probably account for variations in gastric acid inhibitor requirements. Anti-secretory treatment is justified in children with long-lasting GER and high pH-metric reflux index.

Keywords : gastro-esophageal reflux (GER) gastric acid children
Copyright © 2016