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Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2012 Oct;147(4):619-26. Epub 2012 Jun 27.

A systematic review of laryngomalacia and acid reflux.

Author information

1
Otolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada. trevor.hartl@gmail.com

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To identify and appraise the evidence for an association between laryngomalacia (LM) and acid reflux through a systematic review of the existing literature.

DATA SOURCES:

MEDLINE, EMBASE, the Cochrane Library, Google Scholar, and collected additional publications cited in bibliographies.

REVIEW METHODS:

Literature search by both authors with structured criteria to select studies evaluated for systematic review. The Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine (CEBM) guidelines were applied to assess study quality of evidence.

RESULTS:

Twenty-seven studies, representing 1295 neonates with LM, were included. Levels of evidence varied from CEBM level 2a (n = 1) to 4 (n = 23). Although reflux definitions were diverse, overall reflux prevalence in this group was 59% (pooled odds ratio [OR] of 4 controlled studies = 1.15, P = .67). Further evidence supporting an association between reflux and LM included the ubiquity of acid reflux using dual-probe pH monitoring in children with LM (2 studies; n = 84), the increased prevalence of reflux in severe as compared with mild LM (3 studies; n = 237; pooled OR = 9.86, P < .0001), case series and reports of LM improvement with antireflux therapy (6 studies; n = 275), and histological evidence of reflux-related laryngeal inflammation in children with LM (2 studies; n = 18).

CONCLUSION:

The literature shows a coexistence between acid reflux and LM, but the evidence for a causal association is limited. In view of the widespread use of antireflux treatment in LM, a randomized controlled trial of antireflux medication vs placebo appears justified.

PMID:
22745201
DOI:
10.1177/0194599812452833
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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