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Laryngospasm and reflex central apnoea caused by aspiration of refluxed gastric content in adults.
  1. M Bortolotti
  1. 1st Medical Clinic, University of Bologna, Italy.


    Two patients with attacks of choking caused by aspiration of gastric contents in the laryngotracheal tube are presented. One had such severe attacks of respiratory arrest, that tracheostomy was done. The common symptoms of gastro-oesophageal reflux such as pirosis, acid regurgitation, or retrosternal burning were absent in both patients and upper gut radiological and endoscopic examinations were negative. Histology of the oesophageal mucosa showed a deep chronic eosophagitis, and the 24-hour pH-monitoring of the upper oesophagus showed frequent gastro-oesophageal refluxes. Manometry showed hypotonic lower oesophageal sphincter with marked alterations of peristalsis. In the patient with tracheostomy a 24 pH monitoring of the hypolaryngeal zone showed decreased pH at the time of choking attacks. In the other patient further investigations showed that amyotrophic lateral sclerosis was the cause of the oesophageal motility disorder. An intense antireflux treatment abolished the respiratory attacks in both patients.

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