Oesophageal acid-peptic strictures in the histamine H2 receptor antagonist and proton pump inhibitor era

Dig Liver Dis. 2003 Mar;35(3):143-50. doi: 10.1016/s1590-8658(03)00021-5.


Background and aim: We present a survey on the incidence, demography and natural history (re-dilatation rates) of patients with oesophageal acid-peptic stricture seen between 1977 and 1995.

Patients and methods: Prospective, cohort observational study. Stricture severity was graded mild, moderate or severe (needing forcible dilatation with bougies). Most were treated with histamine H2 receptor antagonists or proton pump inhibitors, and were followed up by serial check endoscopy.

Results: A total of 156 of 7429 (2%) reflux patients had stricture: mild, n=56; moderate, n=25; severe, n=75. The prevalence of reflux disease is rising, paralleled by an increase in the number of patients with stricture; hence the incidence of stricture is unchanged: 1977-1982, 1.8% (18/986); 1983-1989, 2.4% (61/2595); 1990-1995, 2% (77/3848). Demography: mean age 68 years; mean length of reflux history 6.4 years; 15% on non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs/aspirin; 18% with Barrett's metaplasia. Mean follow-up: 5.6 years.

Outcome: of the 75 with severe stricture, 36 (48%) needed forcible dilatation only once, and 39 more often (13 twice, nine three times), most within 2 years. Only six of these patients need > or = 6 re-dilatations.

Conclusion: The incidence of stricture is low and remains unchanged, despite the increased prevalence of reflux disease. Most patients have a good prognosis, only half needing further forcible dilatation, mainly within the first 2 years.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anti-Ulcer Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Catheterization
  • Esophageal Stenosis / epidemiology
  • Esophageal Stenosis / etiology
  • Esophageal Stenosis / therapy*
  • Female
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / complications
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / drug therapy*
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / epidemiology
  • Histamine H2 Antagonists / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Omeprazole / therapeutic use*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors*
  • Ranitidine / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Ulcer Agents
  • Histamine H2 Antagonists
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors
  • Ranitidine
  • Omeprazole