Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
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Gastric emptying procedures decrease the risk of postoperative recurrent reflux in children with delayed gastric emptying.

PURPOSE: Although several centers often perform gastric emptying procedures (GEP) together with fundoplication for gastroesophageal reflux (GER) and delayed gastric emptying (DGE), the benefit of GEP is controversial. The present study addresses the question of whether adding a GEP in children with preoperatively diagnosed GER and DGE affects the recurrence rate of GER after Nissen fundoplication (NF).

METHODS: A retrospective chart review was performed on all children under the age of 16 years, operated on for GER from 1980 to 1997, who had a preoperative diagnosis of DGE, and at least 6 months of follow-up. Gastric retention of more than 50% of a radiolabeled meal at 90 minutes was considered DGE. Recurrent reflux was defined as reappearance of GER symptoms, confirmed by postoperative esophagram or 24 hours of pH monitoring.

RESULTS: Of the 183 patients with DGE, 92 were available for long-term follow-up. Of these, 20 had no gastric emptying procedure performed (no-GEP group) and 72 had a GEP performed together with an NF (GEP group). Groups were comparable as to age at operation, mean follow-up time, male to female ratio and prevalence of associated anomalies. A higher prevalence of neurological impairment (NI) was present in the GEP group (48.6% v20.0%). Mean preoperative gastric retention was significantly higher in the GEP group (69.9 +/- 1.3%) than in the no-GEP group (61.4 +/- 2.2%). No complications resulted from the GEP. Recurrent reflux rate was 18.1% in the GEP group (13 of 72) versus 35.0% (7 of 20) in the no-GEP group. Actuarial analysis disclosed a marginally significant difference in the rate of recurrent reflux between the groups (P = .057) and estimation of the relative risk showed a 1.94 increase of recurrent reflux risk in the no-GEP (0.89
CONCLUSIONS: Children with DGE, who did not have GEP, had twice the frequency of recurrent reflux as those who had a GER Preoperative screening for DGE, as well as operative correction of DGE at the time of fundoplication, is therefore recommended.

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