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Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and GERD: links and risks

Authors Ghisa M, Marinelli C, Savarino V, Savarino E

Received 8 May 2019

Accepted for publication 11 August 2019

Published 5 September 2019 Volume 2019:15 Pages 1081—1093

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/TCRM.S184291

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Garry Walsh


Matteo Ghisa1, Carla Marinelli1, Vincenzo Savarino2, Edoardo Savarino1

1Gastrointestinal Unit, Department of Surgery, Oncology and Gastroenterology, University of Padua, Padua, Italy; 2Gastrointestinal Unit, Department of Internal Medicine and Medical Specialties, University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy

Correspondence: Edoardo Savarino
Gastrointerology Unit, Department of Surgery, Oncology and Gastroenterology, University of Padua, Via Giustiniani 2, Padova 351258, Italy
Tel +39 049 821 7749
Fax +39 049 876 0820
Email edoardo.savarino@unipd.it

Abstract: Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) are two pathological conditions often strictly related, even if a clear relationship of causality has not been demonstrated. GERD is a frequent comorbidity in IPF patients, as demonstrated using combined multichannel intraluminal impedance-pH, despite being mostly clinically silent. According to that, it has been hypothesized that microaspiration of gastric material may play a fundamental role in the fibrotic transformation of pulmonary parenchyma. In contrast, it cannot be excluded that IPF may favor GERD by increasing the negative intrathoracic pressure. Therefore, this relationship is uncertain as well as not univocal. Nevertheless, the latest international guidelines recommend the use of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) in IPF based on several data showing that PPIs can stabilize lung function, reduce disease flares and hospitalizations. On the contrary, recent studies not only question the relevance of these results, but also associate the use of PPIs with an increased risk of lung infections and a negative prognostic outcome. The aim of this review is to analyze the possible links between GERD and IPF and their possible therapeutic implications, trying to translate this scientific evidence into useful information for clinical practice.

Keywords: idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, microaspiration, chronic cough, GERD, reflux disease, motility


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