Background: Better control of gastric acid secretion with omeprazole appeared to decrease the need for dilatation of oesophageal strictures complicating gastro-oesophageal reflux disease in our hospital-based endoscopy service.
Aim: To investigate whether the perceived decrease in the need for oesophageal dilatation could be documented from endoscopy records, and, if confirmed, whether this could be related to the treatment used.
Patients and methods: Retrospective study of the records of 69 patients who had peptic oesophageal strictures dilated, followed by treatment with acid inhibition for at least 6 months. Mean duration of follow-up was 3.9 years during treatment with H2-receptor antagonists and 2.1 years while on omeprazole (258 and 78 patient-years, respectively). Re-dilatation rates were compared between those treated with H2-receptor antagonists or omeprazole.
Results: There has been a significant decrease in dilatations performed for gastro-oesophageal reflux induced strictures (P<0.001), while dilatation rates for other indications remained constant. Treatment with omeprazole not only decreased the need for further dilatations, but also prolonged the mean time between any further dilatations to 26.3 months compared to 9.3 months for those on an H2-receptor antagonist (P<0.0001).
Conclusions: Following dilatation of peptic oesophageal strictures, treatment with omeprazole in place of an H2-blocker significantly decreases the need for repeat dilatation.