Background: Patients with non-ulcer dyspepsia (NUD) responding to treatment with H2-receptor antagonists have no clinically useful characteristics. This trial compares the gastro-oesophageal reflux pattern as measured by 24-h oesophageal pH monitoring in patients responding to ranitidine with that of non-responders.
Methods: Thirty-one patients with NUD were randomized to 6 weeks' double-blind alternating treatment with 150 mg ranitidine twice daily or placebo and classified as responders or non-responders.
Results: Pathologic gastro-oesophageal reflux was seen in 3 of the 13 responders and 4 of the 18 no-responders (NS). The responders had frequent short reflux episodes (< 1 min in duration). When 4 patients with > or = 5 reflux episodes longer than 5 min were excluded, the number of short reflux episodes (median) in responders and non-responders was 32 and 14, respectively. The difference is statistically significant (p = 0.025). There were no other differences between the groups.
Conclusions: In this study patients with NUD responding to ranitidine were characterized by frequent short reflux episodes in the absence of numerous long reflux episodes.