Background: The relationship between gastroesophageal reflux (GER) and asthma has been widely studied in the last years. GER may interfere with airway reactivity and aggravate or even induce asthma. Objective: To assess the prevalence of bronchial hyperresponsiveness (BHR) in patients with GER disease with a view to judging the potential influence of GER on BHR. Methods: 30 patients with GER disease and no clinical evidence of asthma and 30 normal subjects underwent a methacholine bronchial challenge. The methacholine concentration that caused a 20% fall in the FEV1 (PC20) was used to assess bronchial responsiveness. Results: In the GER group 11 subjects of the 30 studied showed a PC20 methacholine equal to or less than 8 mg/ml while in the control group only 2 subjects had a PC20 methacholine equal to or less than 8 mg/ml (p < 0.01; ANOVA test). Conclusions: Subjects with GER had a greater increase in airway reactivity when inhaling methacholine compared to disease-free normal subjects.

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