Up to 40% of children presenting with reflux symptoms do not respond to standard medical interventions. In adults, 20% of patients presenting with Proton Pump Inhibitors refractory Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) have rumination syndrome. The management of GERD and rumination differ significantly. Our study aimed to identify rumination syndrome amongst children presenting with persistent GERD symptoms based on a distinct pattern on impedance-pH monitoring.
The parameters of impedance-pH monitoring were compared between children with rumination syndrome (n = 12), diagnosed on high-resolution manometry impedance (HRM/Z), children with GERD (n = 18), children with an alternative diagnosis (non-GERD, n = 12) and children negative for rumination based on HRM/Z (n = 14). The parameters that distinguish the rumination group were identified and incorporated into a scoring system, which was blindly applied on a separate group of children with refractory GERD (n = 18) to define its sensitivity and specificity.
Rumination syndrome presents in 44% of children with refractory GERD. Children with rumination syndrome present with a large number of proximal reflux episodes (>57.5 episodes/24 hours); a high frequency of nonacid reflux events in the postprandial period (>2/hour); and a highly positive symptom-reflux association analysis (SAP ≥ 95%). A score of ≥2 out of the 3 points distinguishes children with rumination syndrome with 75% sensitivity and 80% specificity.
Children with rumination syndrome have a distinct pattern of impedance-pH monitoring and can be distinguished amongst children presenting with refractory GERD. Applying a simple scoring system during impedance-pH analysis could lead to early diagnosis of children with rumination syndrome.