Publications by Year: 2015


Lo WK, Burakoff R, Goldberg HJ, Feldman N, Chan WW. Pre-lung transplant measures of reflux on impedance are superior to pH testing alone in predicting early allograft injury. World journal of gastroenterology. 2015;21(30):9111-7. doi:10.3748/wjg.v21.i30.9111

AIM: To evaluate pre-lung transplant acid reflux on pH-testing vs corresponding bolus reflux on multichannel intraluminal impedance (MII) to predict early allograft injury.

METHODS: This was a retrospective cohort study of lung transplant recipients who underwent pre-transplant combined MII-pH-testing at a tertiary care center from January 2007 to November 2012. Patients with pre-transplant fundoplication were excluded. Time-to-event analysis was performed using a Cox proportional hazards model to assess associations between measures of reflux on MII-pH testing and early allograft injury. Area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve (c-statistic) of the Cox model was calculated to assess the predictive value of each reflux parameter for early allograft injury. Six pH-testing parameters and their corresponding MII measures were specified a priori. The pH parameters were upright, recumbent, and overall acid reflux exposure; elevated acid reflux exposure; total acid reflux episodes; and acid clearance time. The corresponding MII measures were upright, recumbent, and overall bolus reflux exposure; elevated bolus reflux exposure; total bolus reflux episodes; and bolus clearance time.

RESULTS: Thirty-two subjects (47% men, mean age: 55 years old) met the inclusion criteria of the study. Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (46.9%) represented the most common pulmonary diagnosis leading to transplantation. Baseline demographics, pre-transplant cardiopulmonary function, number of lungs transplanted (unilateral vs bilateral), and post-transplant proton pump inhibitor use were similar between reflux severity groups. The area under the ROC curve, or c-statistic, of each acid reflux parameter on pre-transplant pH-testing was lower than its bolus reflux counterpart on MII in the prediction of early allograft injury. In addition, the development of early allograft injury was significantly associated with three pre-transplant MII measures of bolus reflux: overall reflux exposure (HR = 1.18, 95%CI: 1.01-1.36, P = 0.03), recumbent reflux exposure (HR = 1.25, 95%CI: 1.04-1.50, P = 0.01) and bolus clearance (HR = 1.09, 95%CI: 1.01-1.17, P = 0.02), but not with any pH-testing parameter measuring acid reflux alone.

CONCLUSION: Pre-transplant MII measures of bolus reflux perform better than their pH-testing counterparts in predicting early allograft injury post-lung transplantation.

Gavini S, Finn RT, Lo WK, et al. Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is associated with increased impedance measures of reflux compared to non-fibrotic disease among pre-lung transplant patients. Neurogastroenterology and motility : the official journal of the European Gastrointestinal Motility Society. 2015;27(9):1326-32. doi:10.1111/nmo.12627

BACKGROUND: Gastroesophageal reflux (GER) has been associated with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), although the mechanism remains unclear. Gastroesophageal reflux/microaspiration may lead to lung fibrosis, while increased pulmonary workload may also worsen GER. Comparing the GER profile of IPF patients to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients with similar lung function may help delineate the role of GER in IPF pathogenesis.

METHODS: This was a retrospective cohort study of IPF and COPD patients undergoing pre-lung transplant multichannel intraluminal impedance and pH study (MII-pH) off acid suppression at a tertiary center in 2008-2014. Patients with prior fundoplication were excluded. Baseline demographics, pulmonary function test, and MII-pH results were recorded. Univariate analyses were performed using Fisher's exact (binary variables) and Student's t (continuous variables) tests. Logistic regression was performed to adjust for potential confounders.

KEY RESULTS: A total of 90 subjects (54 IPF, 36 COPD) met inclusion criteria. Compared to COPD, IPF patients had increased total reflux episodes (65.9 vs 46.1, p = 0.02), proximal reflux episodes (30.3 vs 20.3, p = 0.04), and prevalence of abnormal total reflux episodes (38.9% vs 16.7%, p = 0.02). On multivariate analyses, abnormal total reflux episodes (OR: 4.9, p = 0.05) and bolus reflux exposure time (OR: 4, p = 0.04) remained significantly associated with IPF.

CONCLUSIONS & INFERENCES: Abnormal reflux was significantly more prevalent among IPF patients after controlling for lung disease severity. Gastroesophageal reflux/microaspiration likely plays a role in fibrosis in IPF. A significant portion of IPF patients had increased non-acid reflux. Therapies aiming to prevent reflux of gastric contents may be more beneficial than antisecretory medications alone in these patients.

Goldin AH, Chan WW. Current Approach to the Management of Eosinophilic Esophagitis in Adults. Current treatment options in gastroenterology. 2015;13(4):441-51. doi:10.1007/s11938-015-0069-4

Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) is an increasingly diagnosed, immune-mediated disease characterized by inflammation of the esophagus in both children and adult, causing significant morbidity. Adults typically present with dysphagia and a history of food impaction. Diagnosis should be considered in patients with histological evidence of eosinophilia (≥15 eosinophils per high-power field) on esophageal biopsy. More recently, it has been observed that a significant percentage of patients with esophageal eosinophilia respond both clinically and histologically to PPI therapy. This disorder has been named PPI-responsive esophageal eosinophilia (PPI-REE). Recent studies suggest that patients with PPI-REE have similar clinical and endoscopic features of patients with EoE. Specifically, both PPI-REE and EoE patients have a strong disposition to allergy compared to patients without eosinophilia. As such, PPI-REE may represent a subset or variant of EoE. Effective treatment of EoE requires a multidisciplinary approach with gastroenterologists, pathologists, allergists, and nutritionists. Treatments include elimination and elemental diets, topical glucocorticoids (fluticasone and budesonide), and endoscopic dilation.

Lo WK, Burakoff R, Goldberg HJ, Feldman N, Chan WW. Pre-transplant impedance measures of reflux are associated with early allograft injury after lung transplantation. The Journal of heart and lung transplantation : the official publication of the International Society for Heart Transplantation. 2015;34(1):26-35. doi:10.1016/j.healun.2014.09.005

BACKGROUND: Acid reflux has been associated with poorer outcomes after lung transplantation. Standard pre-transplant reflux assessment has not been universally adopted. Non-acid reflux may also induce a pulmonary inflammatory cascade, leading to acute and chronic rejection. Esophageal multichannel intraluminal impedance and pH testing (MII-pH) may be valuable in standard pre-transplant evaluation. We assessed the association between pre-transplant MII-pH measures and early allograft injury in lung transplant patients.

METHODS: This was a retrospective cohort study of lung transplant recipients who underwent pre-transplant MII-pH at a tertiary center from 2007 to 2012. Results from pre-transplant MII-pH, cardiopulmonary function testing, and results of biopsy specimen analysis of the transplanted lung were recorded. Time-to-event analyses were performed using Cox proportional hazards and Kaplan-Maier methods to assess the associations between MII-pH measures and development of acute rejection or lymphocytic bronchiolitis.

RESULTS: Thirty patients (46.7% men; age, 54.2 years) met the inclusion criteria. Pre-transplant cardiopulmonary function and pulmonary diagnoses were similar between outcome groups. Prolonged bolus clearance (hazard ratio [HR], 4.11; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.34-12.57; p = 0.01), increased total distal reflux episodes (HR, 4.80; 95% CI, 1.33-17.25; p = 0.02), and increased total proximal reflux episodes (HR, 4.43; 95% CI, 1.14-17.31; p = 0.03) were significantly associated with decreased time to early allograft injury. Kaplan-Meier curves also demonstrated differences in time to rejection by prolonged bolus clearance (p = 0.01) and increased total distal reflux episodes (p = 0.01). Sub-group analysis including only patients with MII-pH performed off proton pump inhibitors (n = 24) showed similar results.

CONCLUSIONS: Prolonged bolus clearance, increased total distal reflux episodes, and increased total proximal reflux episodes on pre-transplant MII-pH were associated with decreased time to early allograft injury after lung transplantation. Routine pre-transplant MII-pH may provide clinically relevant data regarding transplant outcomes and peri-transplant care.