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Biomarkers for Gastroesophageal Reflux in Respiratory Diseases

Gastroenterology Research and Practice
Hindawi Publishing Corporation
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1155/2013/148086
  • Review Article
  • Chemistry
  • Medicine


Gastroesophageal reflux (GER) is commonly associated with respiratory symptoms, either through a vagal bronchoconstrictive reflex or through microaspiration of gastric contents. No diagnostic test is available, however, to diagnose when respiratory illnesses are caused by GER and when not, but research in this field has been moving forward. Various biomarkers in different types of biosamples have been studied in this context. The aim of this review is to summarize the present knowledge in this field. GER patients with respiratory diseases seem to have a different biochemical profile from similar patients without GER. Inflammatory biomarkers differ in asthmatics based on GER status, tachykinins are elevated in patients with GER-related cough, and bile acids are elevated in lung transplant patients with GER. However, studies on these biomarkers are often limited by their small size, methods of analysis, and case selections. The two pathogenesis mechanisms are associated with different respiratory illnesses and biochemical profiles. A reliable test to identify GER-induced respiratory disorders needs to be developed. Bronchoalveolar lavage is too invasive to be of use in most patients. Exhaled breath condensate samples need further evaluation and standardization. The newly developed particles in exhaled air measurements remain to be studied further.

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