Background & aims: Oesophageal acidification induces dyspeptic symptoms in healthy individuals. This study aimed to evaluate the correlation between oesophageal acid exposure and dyspeptic symptoms in patients with nonerosive reflux disease.
Methods: A total of 68 patients with dominant symptoms of heartburn, negative upper gastrointestinal endoscopy and concomitant dyspeptic symptoms participated in the study. The severity of dyspepsia and reflux-related symptoms was evaluated, and 24-h gastro-oesophageal pH-monitoring study was performed in all patients at baseline and after 4 weeks of therapy with esomeprazole 40 mg.
Results: Oesophageal basal acid exposure was pathological in 43 patients and normal in 25 patients, with a similar prevalence and severity of individual dyspeptic symptoms in the two groups. A significant correlation between reflux and dyspepsia scores was observed in the subgroup of patients with normal, but not in those with abnormal pHmetry (r=0.4, P=0.04 and r=0.2 P=0.07, respectively). After esomeprazole, a reduction in severity of dyspepsia (>or=50% with respect to baseline) was observed, independent of improvement of reflux-associated symptoms. Improvement in dyspepsia was, however, similar in patients with normal and abnormal basal acid exposure (14/25 vs. 33/43, respectively, P=NS).
Conclusion: Dyspeptic symptoms coexist in a subset of nonerosive reflux disease patients, but prevalence and severity of the symptoms seems to be independent of oesophageal acid exposure.