Seizure Disorder as a Risk Factor for Gastroesophageal Reflux in Children with Neurodevelopmental Disabilities

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The proportion of children with severe neurodevelopmental disabilities, in whom symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux develop after gastrostomy placement, has not been well studied. The medical records of children who received a gastrostomy tube (with or without a simultaneous antireflux procedure) at our institution between 1987 and 1997 were reviewed to identify neurologically related diagnoses at the time of the gastrostomy, diagnostic tests ordered to detect reflux, and dates and reasons for re-admissions within 2 years of discharge. Of 102 patients studied, 37 received a gastrostomy tube alone. Complete follow-up data were available for 30 of these patients, 7 of whom (23%) required subsequent antireflux surgery within 2 years. Patients with a seizure disorder had greater than a 4-fold risk of re-admission for this operation compared with other patients (57% [4/7] vs. 13% [3/23]; P=0.03). In a child with severe neurodevelopmental disability, the existence of a seizure disorder at the time of a gastrostomy operation increases the risk of subsequently requiring an antireflux procedure by a factor of 4. Clin Pediatr. 2004;43:557-562

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