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Savarino, E; Zentilin, P; Frazzoni, M; Cuoco, D L; Pohl, D; Dulbecco, P; Marabotto, E; Sammito, G; Gemignani, L; Tutuian, R; Savarino, V (2010). Characteristics of gastro-esophageal reflux episodes in Barrett's esophagus, erosive esophagitis and healthy volunteers. Neurogastroenterology and Motility, 22(10):1061-e280.

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BACKGROUND: Gastro-esophageal reflux is considered a major culprit in the pathogenesis of Barrett's esophagus (BE). Still, there is controversy on the role of weakly acidic and weakly alkaline reflux in BE. To compare characteristics of reflux episodes patients with BE, erosive esophagitis (EE), and healthy volunteers (HV).

METHODS: One hundred consecutive patients with BE (75 short-segment BE, 25 long-segment BE), 50 with EE and 48 HV underwent multichannel intraluminal impedance-pH off-therapy. We quantified esophageal acid exposure, characteristics, and proximal extension of reflux episodes.

KEY RESULTS: Total and acid reflux episodes gradually increased from HV [28 (17.5-43) and 18 (8-31)] to EE [73.5 (54-96) and 52 (39-68)], short-segment BE (SSBE) [83 (73.2-131) and 65 (43.3-95)] and long-segment BE (LSBE) [105 (102-187) and 77 (75-107)]. Weakly acidic reflux episodes were significantly higher (P < 0.05) in LSBE [36 (27.5-50.5)] and SSBE [34 (18.5-41)] compared to EE [21.5 (15-37)] and HV [19 (14-25)]. No differences in terms of proportion of acid, weakly acidic and weakly alkaline reflux were found [HV (49%-49%-2%) vs EE (68%-32%-1%) vs SSBE (65%-34%-1%) vs LSBE (69%-30%-1%); P = ns]. In LSBE, a higher percentage of reflux episodes (P < 0.05) reached the proximal esophagus (59%) compared with SSBE (43%).

CONCLUSIONS & INFERENCES:   Barrett esophagus patients have more severe reflux as shown by the number of acid and weakly acidic reflux episodes, re-reflux episodes and proximal migration. Given that PPI change only the pH of the refluxate, the role of weakly acidic reflux in Barrett's patients on acid suppressive therapy warrants further investigation.


23 citations in Web of Science®
25 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic and Policlinic for Internal Medicine
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Deposited On:21 Feb 2011 13:05
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 14:48
Publisher DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2982.2010.01536.x
PubMed ID:20557468

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