Twenty patients with bronchial asthma who also had gastro-oesophageal reflux were investigated. The severity of their reflux was graded using symptom score of heartburn and regurgitation and by the following investigations: barium swallow and meal, fibreoptic endoscopy and biopsy, manometry and pH monitoring of the distal oesophagus, and an acid infusion test. Full lung function studies were performed and patients were entered into a double-blind crossover study using cimetidine to control their reflux in order to assess beneficial effects with respect to their respiratory problems. Eighteen patients completed the study. Significant improvements were seen in reflux and night time asthmatic symptoms, both these indices being measured on a scoring system. Home monitoring of peak flow values showed a statistical improvement for th last peak flow reading of the day. Fourteen patients felt that their chest symptoms had significantly improved during the cimetidine period.
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