Gastro-oesophageal reflux and apnoea: is there a temporal relationship?

Thomas Rossor, Gwendolyn Andradi, Kamal Ali, Ravindra Bhat, Anne Greenough

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    12 Citations (Scopus)
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    Background: Gastro-oesophageal reflux (GOR) and apnoea are common in infants; whether there is a causal relationship is controversial. Objectives: To determine whether there was a temporal relationship between GOR and apnoea, in particular, the frequency of obstructive apnoeas and if the frequency of GOR episodes correlated with apnoea frequency when maturity at testing was taken into account. Methods: Polysomnography and pH/multichannel intraluminal impedance (MII) studies were performed. Apnoeas were classified as central, obstructive, or mixed. MII events were classified as acidic (pH <4) or weakly acidic (4 < pH < 7). Apnoea frequency in the 5-min period after a reflux event was compared to that in the 5-min period preceding the event and that in a 5-min reflux-free period (control period). Results: Forty infants (median gestational age 29 [range 24-42] weeks) were assessed at a post-conceptional age of 37 (30-54) weeks. Obstructive (n = 580), central (n = 900), and mixed (n = 452) apnoeas were identified; 381 acid reflux events were detected by MII and 153 by the pH probe only. Apnoeas were not more frequent following GOR than during control periods. Both the frequency of apnoeas (p = 0.002) and GOR episodes (p = 0.01) were inversely related to post-conceptional age at testing, but were not significantly correlated with each other when controlled for post-conceptional age. Conclusions: These results suggest that GOR does not cause apnoea.
    Original languageEnglish
    Early online date21 Dec 2017
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


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