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Pediatr Dev Pathol. 2011 Jan-Feb;14(1):53-6. doi: 10.2350/09-11-0748-CR.1. Epub 2010 Apr 29.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease and sudden infant death: mechanisms behind an under-recognized association.

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  • 1Department of Histopathology, Sheffield Children's Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TH, United Kingdom.


We present 4 cases of sudden infant death in which we believe that gastroesophageal reflux (GOR) was a contributory, if not a causative, factor. Two of our patients had documented GOR reflux disease during life, and all 4 cases showed histologic evidence of GOR. No other cause of death was identified in any of the patients. Gastroesophageal reflux can cause sudden death in a vulnerable infant during a critical period of development through failure of "autoresuscitation" mechanisms.

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