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Buie, Timothy M
Pediatric GI, MGH, Boston, MA
Gastroesophageal Reflux (GER) is primarily diagnosed by symptom description. Children with autism have core difficulty communicating and atypical social relatedness. For this reason, identification of GER in autistic children may be difficult. The prevalence of GER in autism remains unknown, but several reports identify esophagitis as a finding in autistic children undergoing endoscopy.
To evaluate autistic children with GI complaints and aggression or self-injurious behavior in order to determine if these behaviors may be symptoms of GER.
Six consecutive autistic children (ages 8-19 years) undergoing endoscopy and scheduled for BRAVO (wireless) pH probe were evaluated for histology and pH meter results.
GER was identified in 5 of 5 patients tested by BRAVO pH testing. Esophagitis was seen in 3 of 6 patients biopsied. See tables below.
1. Gastroesophageal reflux can be tested in children with autism using wireless BRAVO pH probe technology.
2. Aggresive or self-injurious behavior may be a manifestation of pain from GER and should prompt consideration of further investigation.
3. Further study of non-classic GI symptoms needs to be considered in children with autism.
© 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.
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