Acid and non-acid reflux patterns in patients with erosive esophagitis and non-erosive reflux disease (NERD): a study using intraluminal impedance monitoring

J.M. Conchillo*, M.P. Schwartz, M. Selimah, M. Samsom, D. Sifrim, A.J. Smout

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


BACKGROUND: Non-erosive reflux disease (NERD) and erosive esophagitis (EE) are the most common phenotypic presentations of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). AIM: To assess acid and non-acid reflux patterns in patients with EE and NERD using combined esophageal pH-impedance monitoring. METHODS: A total of 26 GERD patients off acid-suppressive medication and ten healthy volunteers (HV) underwent upper endoscopy and 24-h pH-impedance monitoring. Analysis of the pH-impedance signals included total reflux time, number of reflux episodes according to gas-liquid composition, and pH (acid, non-acid). RESULTS: EE was identified in 13 patients and NERD in 13 patients. Pathologic acid reflux was found in 92.3 and 69.2% of patients with EE and NERD, respectively (P = 0.15). When compared to HV, EE patients and NERD patients showed a higher incidence of acid (P = 0.002 and P < 0.001, EE vs. HV and NERD vs. HV, respectively) and non-acid reflux episodes (P = 0.03 and P = 0.001, EE vs. HV and NERD vs. HV, respectively). Mean reflux times, as assessed by both pH-metry and impedance monitoring, and incidence of acid and non-acid reflux episodes were similar in EE and NERD patients. In the supine position, however, EE patients showed a higher incidence of acid (P = 0.048) and liquid reflux episodes (P = 0.07). CONCLUSION: Whereas EE patients have more acid reflux episodes in the supine position than NERD patients, patients with EE and NERD have similar non-acid reflux patterns. This observation lends support to the notion that non-acid reflux is less damaging to the esophageal mucosa than acid reflux.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1506-12
JournalDigestive Diseases and Sciences
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2008

Cite this