Joseph Ramet, Laurent Egreteau, Lilia Curzi‐Dascalova, Pierre Escourrou, Michel Dehan, Claude Gaultier

Cardiac, Respiratory, and Arousal Responses to an Esophageal Acid Infusion Test in Near‐Term Infants During Active Sleep

  • Gastroenterology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology and Child Health

SummaryThis study was designed to determine the cardiac, respiratory, and arousal responses to an esophageal acid infusion test in near‐term infants free from neurological, gastroesophageal, and cardiopulmonary disease at time of testing during active sleep. Eight infants (gestational age 28–37.5 weeks, postconceptional age 36–40 weeks) were tested. Using standardized procedures and timing, we compared the cardiac, respiratory and arousal responses during a control period and during distal esophageal saline and acid infusion periods. The duration of each of these periods was 5 min. The pH of the acid infusion was 2.2. We found that this mild distal esophageal acid infusion test induced significant prolongation of the interval between successive electrocardiogram R waves compared with control and saline infusion periods (806.5± 145.7 ms, 478.8± 49.4 ms, and 468.8± 37.2 ms, respectively; p < 0.01) and of the duration of the respiratory cycle (2.9± 0.7 s, 1.5± 0.3 s, and 1.5± 0.2 s, respectively; p < 0.01). Esophageal acid infusion elicited significant electroencephalogram (EEG) arousal responses. The number of the EEG arousals was significantly increased during the acid period as compared with control and saline infusion periods (2.9± 1.4, 0.5± 0.5, and 0.4± 0.5, respectively; p < 0.01). Total arousal duration was significantly increased during acid as compared with control and saline infusion periods (42± 17.5 s,4.5± 5.1 s, and 3.5± 5.0 s, respectively; p < 0.01). We conclude that distal esophageal acid stimulation elicits significant cardiac, respiratory, and EEG arousal responses in near‐term infants during active sleep.

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