Acid Reflux in Infants: Causes

Incidence drops off steadily after 4 months, with only 5% of infants having daily regurgitation at one year of life. It is very uncommon for children over 18 months of age to still regurgitate, and even less so for them to start spitting up after that age. An obsolete treatment is vagotomy (“highly selective vagotomy”), the surgical removal of vagus nerve branches that innervate the stomach lining.

Ulcers can usually be successfully treated by controlling the underlying symptoms of GORD. weakens the lower esophageal sphincter allowing acid to reflux into the esophagus. Esophageal impedance testing.

25. DeVault KR, Castell DO. Updated guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease. 11.

Co-morbidities for the mother were obtained from diagnostic codes applied to admissions prior to, during and after the birth of the infant who received a GOR/GORD diagnostic code. Data were provided from the PDC and analysed to establish maternal parity, pregnancy events, birth details and neonatal details. The New South Wales Centre for Health Record Linkage conducted linkage of several datasets via the Health Record Linkage (CHeReL). Hospital admission data – Admitted Patient Data Collection (APDC) was examined for the time period

What other tests may be done in a child with VUR?

Impedance pattern typically observed during a reflux episode. In this example only the distal pH channel is shown which is located approximately 1.5 cm above the LOS. The retrograde oesophageal flow is indicated by arrow A. In this example the reflux reaches the proximal (highest, Z 1 ) channel.

They may just be tired, stressed and online, a combination that probably is to blame for the majority of bad medical decisions. But the children of most parents who seek out natural cures for apparent reflux are also cared for by pediatricians and family doctors.


  • It appears to be increasingly diagnosed and causes great distress in the first year of infancy.
  • When your baby swallows, this muscle relaxes to let food pass from the esophagus to the stomach.
  • They get that reflux is almost always benign but not that the symptoms may not even really exist or may not be caused by reflux.

(1995 ) The relation of gastroesophageal reflux disease and its treatment to adenocarcinomas of the esophagus and gastric cardia. 10 In our study, about one fifth of newly diagnosed infants with cystic fibrosis had pathological GOR.

Sometimes medications may be given to help. These may include feed thickeners, which are added to the baby’s milk to help reduce the effect of reflux. Thickeners work by making the feed more solid once it is in the stomach and this makes it harder to bring back up. Infant Gaviscon is an example of this. Other medications may help to lower the acid production in the stomach and to speed up food passage through the stomach.

The muscle at the border of the esophagus and stomach, called a sphincter, works as a barrier that is normally closed to prevent the contents of the stomach from washing up into the esophagus. It should open only when you swallow.

Overall, symptomatic patients were diagnosed with reflux frequently, with a range from 27% to 100%. In studies that attempted to compare patients with controls, only 2 provided statistical comparisons of the patient groups, and none adjusted for confounding owing to study design. There was marked heterogeneity in methods used to diagnose reflux in the studies reviewed, with only 34% using dual-channel pH testing; definitions of pathologic reflux were also variable. We selected articles examining reflux in conjunction with stridor, apnea, sudden infant death syndrome, life-threatening events, and laryngomalacia. Studies that focused on lower airway symptoms or adults were excluded.

This is very common and does not usually cause other symptoms. However, constant regurgitation from acid reflux can sometimes cause damage to the esophageal lining. This is much less common. If it causes symptoms such as poor weight gain, it may then be called gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD.

Both, regurgitation and vomiting are well-recognized clinical manifestations of food allergy, mainly of cow’s milk protein allergy (CMPA), which represents the most common food allergy in early childhood. Although it is difficult to discriminate between GERD and allergy driven GER symptoms based only on clinical picture, this is particularly important with regards to the future treatment. Physiological gastro-esophageal reflux (GER) occurs in 40% to 65% of all otherwise healthy infants between the ages of one and four months making it a fairly characteristic condition of early postnatal life.

In vomiting, the material is forcefully expelled from the mouth, however both these symptoms are sometimes difficult to differentiate, hence other symptoms or complications should be investigated [10]. The passage of gastric content into the esophagus (i.e., GER) is a normal phenomenon occurring many times a day, in both adults and children. Infants are especially prone to regurgitate and it has been shown that the number of infants with this phenomenon decreases from about 80% during the first month of life to less than 10% at the age of one year [4]. A study by Miyazawa et al. on 921 infants showed that over 47% of one-month-old infants have one or more regurgitation or vomiting episodes per day, however this number falls to just 6.4% by the age of seven months [5].

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