Background: Failure of proton pump inhibitor (PPI) treatment in patients with heartburn is very common. Because endoscopy is easily accessible, it is commonly used as the first evaluative tool in these patients.
Objective: To compare GERD-related endoscopic and histologic findings in patients with heartburn in whom once-daily PPI therapy failed versus those not receiving antireflux treatment.
Design: Cross-sectional study.
Setting: A Veterans Affairs hospital.
Patients: Heartburn patients from the GI outpatient clinic.
Intervention: Recording of endoscopic results.
Main outcome measurements: Endoscopic findings and association between PPI treatment failure and esophageal mucosal injury by using logistic regression models.
Results: A total of 105 subjects (mean age 54.7 +/- 15.7 years; 71 men, 34 women) were enrolled in the PPI treatment failure group and 91 (mean age 53.4 +/- 15.8 years; 68 men, 23 women) were enrolled in the no-treatment group (P = not significant). Anatomic findings during upper endoscopy were significantly more common in the no-treatment group compared with the PPI treatment failure group (55.2% vs 40.7%, respectively; P = .04). GERD-related findings were significantly more common in the no-treatment group compared with the PPI treatment failure group (erosive esophagitis: 30.8% vs 6.7%, respectively; P < .05). Eosinophilic esophagitis was found in only 0.9% of PPI treatment failure patients. PPI treatment failure was associated with a significantly decreased odds ratio of erosive esophagitis compared with no treatment, adjusted for age, sex, and body mass index (adjusted odds ratio 0.11; 95% CI, 0.04-0.30).
Conclusions: Heartburn patients in whom once-daily PPI treatment failed demonstrated a paucity of GERD-related findings compared with those receiving no treatment. Eosinophilic esophagitis was uncommon in PPI therapy failure patients. Upper endoscopy seems to have a very low diagnostic yield in this patient population.
2010 American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.