Gastroesophageal reflux symptoms are not sufficient to guide esophageal function testing in lung transplant candidates.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease and esophageal dysmotility are prevalent in patients with advanced lung disease and are associated with graft dysfunction following lung transplantation. As a result, many transplant centers perform esophageal function testing as part of the wait-listing process but guidelines for testing in this population are lacking. The aim of this study is to describe whether symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux correlate with abnormal results on pH-metry and high-resolution manometry and can be used to identify those who require testing. We performed a retrospective cohort study of 226 lung transplant candidates referred for high-resolution manometry and pH-metry over a 12-month period in 2015. Demographic data, results of a standard symptom questionnaire and details of esophageal function testing were obtained. Associations between the presence of symptoms and test results were analyzed using Fisher's exact tests and multivariable logistic regression. The most common lung disease diagnosis was interstitial lung disease (N = 131, 58%). Abnormal pH-metry was seen in 116 (51%) patients and the presence of symptoms was significantly associated with an abnormal study (p < 0.01). Dysmotility was found in 98 (43%) patients, with major peristaltic or esophageal outflow disorders in 45 (20%) patients. Symptoms were not correlated with findings on esophageal high-resolution manometry. Fifteen of 25 (60%) asymptomatic patients had an abnormal manometry or pH-metry. These results demonstrate that in patients with advanced lung disease, symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux increase the likelihood of elevated acid exposure on pH-metry but were not associated with dysmotility. Given the proportion of asymptomatic patients with abnormal studies and associated post-transplant risks, a practice of universal high-resolution manometry and pH-metry testing in this population is justifiable.
Posner, S; Zheng, J; Wood, RK; Shimpi, RA; Hartwig, MG; Chow, S-C; Leiman, DA
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