In this study, our objective was to examine prospectively, by endoscopy and histology of the esophageal mucosa, the severity of reflux esophagitis and any possible correlation between endoscopic and histological findings on the one hand, and manometric and 24-h ambulatory pH-metry measurements on the other. Forty-two patients with gastroesophageal reflux were prospectively examined. The results were compared with those of 18 healthy controls. Methods used were: 1) upper alimentary endoscopy and grading of severity of esophagitis, 2) esophageal mucosa biopsies, to estimate severity of esophagitis on histology, 3) standard esophageal manometry, by using a water perfused catheter with four side holes, and 4) standard 24-h ambulatory esophageal pH-metry.
Results: The severity of esophagitis as determined by both endoscopy and histology was significantly inversely related to the amplitude (p < 0.001) and duration (p < 0.01) of esophageal peristalsis at 5 cm proximal to LES; it was significantly related to the pH-metry total composite score (p < 0.001 for endoscopy, p < 0.05-0.01 for histology), the total reflux time (p < 0.001 for endoscopy, p < 0.01 for histology), the duration of longest reflux episode (p < 0.001 for endoscopy, p < 0.01 for histology), the number of reflux episodes lasting more than 5 min (p < 0.05 for endoscopy), and the frequency-duration index of reflux episodes (p < 0.001 for endoscopy, p < 0.01 for histology). Furthermore, strength reduction of peristalsis (< 60 mm Hg x s) was associated with acid exposure greater than 40%, in esophagitis patients. We conclude that the severity of reflux esophagitis, not only through endoscopy but also histologically, is related to the amount of reflux, as expressed by the duration and frequency of the reflux episodes. A very high amount of reflux is in turn associated with impairment of the esophageal body motility, as expressed by the amplitude and strength of esophageal body peristalsis.