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Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a condition that develops when there is reflux of stomach contents, which typically manifests as heartburn and regurgitation. These esophageal symptoms are well recognized; however, there are extra-esophageal manifestations of GERD, which include asthma, chronic cough, laryngitis and sinusitis. With the rising incidence of asthma, there is increasing interest in identifying how GERD impacts asthma development and therapy. Due to the poor sensitivity of endoscopy and pH monitoring, empiric therapy with proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) is now considered the initial diagnostic step in patients suspected of having GERD-related symptoms. If unresponsive, diagnostic testing with pH monitoring off therapy and/or impedance/pH monitoring on therapy, may be reasonable in order to assess for baseline presence of reflux with the former and exclude continued acid or weakly acid reflux with the latter tests. PPI-unresponsive asthmatics, without overt regurgitation, usually have either no reflux or causes other than GERD. In this group, PPI therapy should be discontinued. In those with GERD as a contributing factor acid suppressive therapy should be continued as well as optimally treating other etiologies requiring concomitant treatment. Surgical fundoplication is rarely needed but in those with a large hiatal hernia, moderate-to-severe reflux by pH monitoring surgery might be helpful in eliminating the need for high-dose acid suppressive therapy.
OBJECTIVES - Symptom eradication in patients with Barrett's esophagus (BE) does not guarantee control of acid or duodenogastroesophageal reflux (DGER). Continued reflux of acid and/or DGER may increase risk of neoplastic progression and may decrease the likelihood of columnar mucosa eradication after ablative therapy. To date, no study has addressed whether both complete acid and DGER control is possible in patients with BE. This prospective study was designed to assess the effect of escalating-dose proton pump inhibitor (PPI) therapy on esophageal acid and DGER.
METHODS - Patients with BE (≥3 cm in length) underwent simultaneous ambulatory prolonged pH and DGER monitoring after at least 1 week off PPI therapy followed by testing on therapy after 1 month of twice-daily rabeprazole (20 mg). In those with continued acid and/or DGER, the tests were repeated after 1 month of double-dose (40 mg twice daily) rabeprazole. The primary study outcome was normalization of both acid and DGER. Symptom severity was assessed on and off PPI therapy employing a four-point ordinal scale.
RESULTS - A total of 29 patients with BE consented for pH monitoring, of whom 23 also consented for both pH and DGER monitoring off and on therapy (83% male; mean age 58 years; mean body mass index 29; mean Barrett's length 6.0 cm). Median (interquartile range) total % time pH <4 and bilirubin absorbance >0.14 off PPI therapy were 18.4 (11.7-20.0) and 9.7 (5.0-22.2), respectively. In addition, 26/29 (90%) had normalized acid and 18/23 (78%) had normalized DGER on rabeprazole 20 mg. Among those not achieving normalization on 20 mg twice daily, 3/3 (100%) had normalized acid and 4/5 (80%) had normalized DGER on rabeprazole 40 mg twice daily. All subjects had symptoms controlled on rabeprazole 20 mg twice daily. Univariate analysis found no predictor for normalization of physiologic parameters based on demographics.
CONCLUSIONS - Symptom control does not guarantee normalization of acid and DGER at standard dose of twice-daily PPI therapy. Normalization of acid and DGER can be achieved in 79% of BE patients on rabeprazole 20 mg p.o. twice daily, and in the majority of the remainder at high-dose twice-daily PPI. In patients undergoing ablative therapy, pH or DGER monitoring may not be needed to ensure normalization of reflux if patients are treated with high-dose PPI therapy.
Reflux related cough, asthma and laryngitis are frequently encountered and are considered part of extraoesophageal syndromes. The diagnosis of extraoesophageal reflux is difficult due to the lack of gold standard diagnostic criteria. Esophagogastroduodenoscopy and esophageal pH monitoring are inadequate diagnostic tools for due to poor sensitivity and specificity. For this reason, empirical PPI therapy is recommended as an initial approach to diagnose and treat the potential underlying cause of these symptoms in patients without alarm symptoms. Diagnostic testing with esophageal pH and/or impedance monitoring and esophageal motility testing is usually reserved for those who continue to be symptomatic despite a trial of therapy with PPIs. Recent developments have increased our understanding of this difficult to treat group of patients but more research into reflux related extraoesophageal symptoms are needed to better diagnose and treat this group.
Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
OBJECTIVES/HYPOTHESIS - Ambulatory esophageal impedance monitoring is commonly employed to assess for nonacid reflux in patients with extraesophageal reflux. We aimed to determine if on therapy impedance data can be predicted from off therapy upper endoscopy, manometry, or pH parameters.
STUDY DESIGN - Prospective Cohort Study.
METHODS - Patients with extraesophageal reflux symptoms and either partial- or nonresponders to twice-daily PPI underwent impedance monitoring on twice-daily PPI, as well as manometry, upper endoscopy, and 48-hour wireless pH monitoring off acid-suppressive medications for 1 week. Percent time pH < 4 and number of reflux episodes were obtained. Multivariable linear regression was used to determine association between the impedance data on therapy and upper endoscopy, manometry, and pH parameters measured off therapy.
RESULTS - Seventy-five patients (77% female, median BMI 29, 38% with hiatal hernia, and 19% with esophagitis) were studied both on and off therapy. Thirty-five percent had abnormal impedance monitoring on therapy and 84% had abnormal pH testing off therapy. There was no significant (P = 0.184) overall correlation between total number of impedance events and the baseline physiologic parameters of hiatal hernia, degree of acid reflux, or manometric findings, with only weak correlation (r = 0.54, P = 0.045) with % time pH < 4 among patients with esophagitis.
CONCLUSIONS - In patients with suspected extraesophageal reflux refractory to PPI therapy, impedance measures on therapy cannot be predicted from traditional baseline esophageal physiologic parameters. We recommend caution regarding over-interpretation of impedance data.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE - 2b.
Copyright © 2013 The American Laryngological, Rhinological, and Otological Society, Inc.
OBJECTIVES - Extraesophageal symptoms are common manifestations of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Lack of a definitive diagnostic or treatment standards complicate management, which often leads to multiple specialty consultations, procedures, pharmaceuticals and diagnostic tests. The aim of this study was to determine the economic burden associated with extraesophageal reflux (EER).
METHODS - Direct costs of evaluation were estimated for patients referred with symptoms attributed to EER between 2007 and 2011. Medicare payment for evaluation and management and pharmaceutical prices was used to calculate first year and overall costs of evaluating and treating extraesophageal symptoms attributed to reflux.
RESULTS - Overall, 281 patients were studied (cough (50%), hoarseness (23%), globus/post-nasal drainage (15%), asthma (9%), and sore throat (3%)). Over a median (interquartile range) of 32 (16-46) months follow-up, patients had a mean (95% confidence interval) of 10.1 (9.4-10.9) consultations with specialists and underwent 6.4 (3-9) diagnostic procedures. Overall, the mean initial year direct cost was $5,438 per patient being evaluated for EER. Medical and non-medical components contributed $5,154 and $283. Of the overall cost, 52% were attributable to the use of proton pump inhibitors. During the initial year, direct costs were 5.6 times higher than those reported for typical GERD ($971). A total of 54% of patients reported improvement of symptoms. Overall cost per improved patient was $13,700.
CONCLUSIONS - EER contributes substantially to health-care expenditures. In this cohort, the cost for initial year's evaluation and treatment of EER symptoms was quintuple that of typical GERD. Prescription costs and, in particular, proton pump inhibitors were the single greatest contributor to the cost of EER management.
BACKGROUND - Diagnostics for gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) are suboptimal because of limited sensitivity. We performed in vitro and in vivo studies to systematically assess the performance characteristics of an oropharyngeal pH probe.
METHODS - In vitro studies compared the oropharyngeal probe with a standard pH catheter in liquid and aerosolized solutions, pH 1-7. The accuracy of measurements, deviation from target pH, and time to equilibrium pH were determined. Simultaneous distal esophageal pH measurements were obtained in 11 patients with GERD. Oropharyngeal and distal esophageal reflux parameters were measured for controls (n = 20), patients with GERD (n = 17), and patients with chronic laryngitis (n = 10).
KEY RESULTS - In the liquid phase, at pH 4-5, the oropharyngeal probe had less deviation from the target value than the standard catheter; deviation in the vapor phase was similar (0.4 pH units). Median (interquartile) time to reach equilibrium pH was significantly (P < 0.001) faster with the oropharyngeal than the standard probe. In comparing simultaneous distal esophageal pH characteristics, 96% of recordings with the new and standard probes were in agreement to within ± 1.0 pH unit; 71% of recordings were in agreement within ± 0.5 pH units. Patients with chronic laryngitis had significantly higher levels of oropharyngeal acid exposure at pH <4, <5, and <6, in the upright position than patients with GERD or controls (P < .001).
CONCLUSIONS & INFERENCES - Oropharyngeal pH monitoring appears to be more sensitive than traditional pH monitoring in evaluation of patients with extraesophageal reflux. It is a promising tool in evaluation of this difficult group of patients.
© 2013 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease is increasingly associated with ear, nose, and throat symptoms, including laryngitis. Many patients are unaware of the gastroesophageal etiology of their symptoms. A variety of criteria are used to diagnose this condition, including laryngoscopy, esophagogastroduodenoscopy, and the use of ambulatory pH and impedance monitoring. However, no test serves as the gold standard for the diagnosis given their lack of sensitivity and specificity for reflux disease. Numerous trials have assessed the role of proton pump inhibitor therapy in patients with laryngopharyngeal reflux and most have revealed no benefit to acid suppression over placebo. Despite many uncertainties there has been some progress regarding the role of acid-suppressive therapy as well as other agents in this unique group of patients. In this review we explore therapeutic options and their rationale for patients with laryngeal signs and symptoms.
OBJECTIVES - Patient reporting of symptom events during ambulatory reflux monitoring is commonly performed with little data regarding its accuracy. We employed a novel time-synchronized ambulatory audio recording of symptom events simultaneously with prolonged pH/impedance monitoring to assess temporal accuracy of patient-reported symptoms.
METHODS - An acoustic monitoring system was employed to detect cough events via tracheal and chest wall sounds and it was temporally synchronized with an ambulatory impedance/pH monitoring system. Patients were instructed to record their symptoms in the usual manner. Six separate observers independently listened to the 24-h audio recordings and logged the exact timing of each cough event. Patients were blinded to study design and the audio reviewers were blinded to their own reports and those of patients and other reviewers. Concurrence of audio recordings and patient-reported symptoms were tested for three separate time thresholds: 1, 2, and 5 min.
RESULTS - The median (interquartile range (IQR)) number of cough events by audio detection was significantly (P<0.001) higher than those reported by patients: 216 (90-275) and 34 (22-60), respectively. There was significantly (P<0.001) higher agreement among the audio recording listeners (substantial to almost perfect agreement; kappa=0.77-0.82) than between the audio recording and patient-reported symptoms (slight to fair agreement; kappa=0.13-0.27). Patients did not report 91, 82, and 71% of audible cough events based on 1-, 2-, and 5-min concordance time windows, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS - We found that patients do not report the majority of their symptoms during ambulatory reflux monitoring even within a 5-min time window of the true event and advise caution in clinical decision-making based solely on symptom indices.
OBJECTIVE/HYPOTHESIS - Pepsin lateral flow device (LFD) is a rapid noninvasive test to detect salivary pepsin as a surrogate marker for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). We aimed to establish the test sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values (PPV, NPV) in patients with symptomatic and objective evidence of GERD compared to healthy controls.
STUDY DESIGN - Prospective, blinded, controlled cohort study.
METHODS - A total of 230 samples were analyzed. In vitro bench testing was conducted on 52 gastric juice and 54 sterile water samples to assess test sensitivity and specificity. Saliva was collected from 58 patients with GERD and 51 controls. All patients with GERD underwent esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) and wireless 48-hour pH monitoring off acid suppressive therapy. PPV and NPV were calculated based on disease definition of esophagitis and/or abnormal pH monitoring.
RESULTS - Receiver operating characteristics analysis of in vitro samples found assay sensitivity and a specificity of 87%. There were 6/51 (12%) control subjects and 13/58 (22%) patients with GERD who tested positive for salivary pepsin (P = .25). There was a step-wise increase in the prevalence of positive salivary pepsin: esophagitis (55%), abnormal pH monitoring (43%), GERD symptoms only (24%) (P < .001). Salivary pepsin test showed a PPV of 81% and NPV of 78% for those with objective evidence of GERD (abnormal pH and/or esophagitis).
CONCLUSIONS - Rapid LFD for salivary pepsin has acceptable test characteristics in patients with GERD. A positive salivary pepsin test in this group may obviate the need for more expensive diagnostic testing by EGD or pH monitoring.
Copyright © 2012 The American Laryngological, Rhinological, and Otological Society, Inc.