Management of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease in Esophageal Atresia Patients: A Cross-Sectional Survey amongst International Clinicians

Marinde van Lennep*, Frederic Gottrand, Christophe Faure, Taher I. Omari, Marc A. Benninga, Michiel P. van Wijk, Usha Krishnan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objectives: After surgical repair, up to 70% of esophageal atresia (EA) patients suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). The ESPGHAN/NASPGHAN guidelines on management of gastrointestinal complications in EA patients were published in 2016. Yet, the implementation of recommendations on GERD management remains poor. We aimed to assess GERD management in EA patients in more detail, to identify management inconsistencies, gaps in current knowledge, and future directions for research. Methods: A digital questionnaire on GERD management in EA patients was sent to all members of the ESPGHAN EA working group and members of the International network of esophageal atresia (INoEA). Results: Forty responses were received. Thirty-five (87.5%) clinicians routinely prescribed acid suppressive therapy for 1-24 (median 12) months. A fundoplication was considered by 90.0% of clinicians in case of refractory GERD with persistent symptoms despite maximal acid suppressive therapy and in 92.5% of clinicians in case of GERD with presence of esophagitis on EGD. Half of clinicians referred patients with recurrent strictures or dependence on transpyloric feeds. Up to 25.0% of clinicians also referred all long-gap EA patients for fundoplication, those with long-term need of acid suppressants, recurrent chest infections and feedings difficulties. Conclusions: Respondents' opinions on the optimal duration for routine acid suppressive therapy and indications for fundoplication in EA patients varied widely. To improve evidence-based care for EA patients, future prospective multicenter outcome studies should compare different diagnostic and treatment regimes for GERD in patients with EA. Complications of therapy should be one of the main outcome measures in such trials.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-150
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2022

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