Bronchial Asthma and GER

  • L. Allegra


In 1935, Winkelstein proposed a new pathological entity called peptic esophagitis [1]. Several years later the term reflux esophagitis was introduced to indicate the pathophysiological mechanism underlying the disease [2]. It was later demonstrated that gastroesophageal reflux (GER) may occur even in the absence of esophagitis, and the more comprehensive term gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) was introduced, to include disturbances and disease processes due to GERD that involve other organs besides the esophagus. Specific attention has been drawn to diseases of the respiratory tract: association with asthma (although hypothesized by Sir W. Osler a long time ago [3] and sporadically mentioned thereafter [4, 5] and chronic bronchitis was described in the late 1970s [6–8] with a progressively increasing interest [9–19], whereas an association between reflux and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) was suggested in the 1960s [20] and confirmed successively [21–25]. Other respiratory disturbances such as persistent chronic cough [26–29] and nocturnal asphyxia in children [30] were reported later than asthma and IPF. Further associations, although not supported scientifically have been suspected (e.s. bronchiectasis, hemoptysis). Proof has been given regarding the relationship between GER and hoarseness [31] or far more severe upper airway diseases [32, 33] such as acute or chronic laryngitis [34–38], laryngeal ulcers [39] and even glottic carcinoma [40, 41].


Gastroesophageal Reflux Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Lower Esophageal Sphincter Reflux Episode Glottic Carcinoma 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Allegra
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Respiratory Diseases, University of MilanMilanItaly

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