Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease and Foregut Dysmotility in Children with Intestinal Failure

Nutrients. 2020 Nov 18;12(11):3536. doi: 10.3390/nu12113536.

Anna Rybak 1, Aruna Sethuraman 1, Kornilia Nikaki 2, Jutta Koeglmeier 1, Keith Lindley 1, Osvaldo Borrelli 1


Author information

  • 1Department of Gastroenterology, the Great Ormond Street Hospital, Great Ormond Street, London WC1N 3JH, UK.
  • 2Wingate Institute of Neurogastroenterology, Blizard Institute, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, QMUL, 26 Ashfield Street, Whitechapel, London E1 2AJ, UK.


Gastrointestinal dysmotility is a common problem in a subgroup of children with intestinal failure (IF), including short bowel syndrome (SBS) and pediatric intestinal pseudo-obstruction (PIPO). It contributes significantly to the increased morbidity and decreased quality of life in this patient population. Impaired gastrointestinal (GI) motility in IF arises from either loss of GI function due to the primary disorder (e.g., neuropathic or myopathic disorder in the PIPO syndrome) and/or a critical reduction in gut mass. Abnormalities of the anatomy, enteric hormone secretion and neural supply in IF can result in rapid transit, ineffective antegrade peristalsis, delayed gastric emptying or gastroesophageal reflux. Understanding the underlying pathophysiologic mechanism(s) of the enteric dysmotility in IF helps us to plan an appropriate diagnostic workup and apply individually tailored nutritional and pharmacological management, which might ultimately lead to an overall improvement in the quality of life and increase in enteral tolerance. In this review, we have focused on the pathogenesis of GI dysmotility in children with IF, as well as the management and treatment options.

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