An Analysis of Persistent Symptoms in Acid-Suppressed Patients Undergoing Impedance-pH Monitoring

Neeraj Sharma, Amit Agrawal, Janice Freeman, Marcelo F. Vela, Donald Castell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Scopus citations


Background & Aims: Despite proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs), patients may have persistent symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). We aimed to identify symptom types and frequency experienced by patients on PPI therapy, and to identify the type of reflux, if any, associated with these symptoms. Methods: A retrospective review was performed of 200 patients on PPI with GERD symptoms during ambulatory impedance-pH testing. The symptom index (SI) was determined for each symptom, and an SI of 50% or more was considered positive. Patients were divided into 2 groups: those with exclusively nonacid reflux (NAR) episodes and those with mixed-acid and NAR episodes. Symptom profiles were compared between these 2 groups. Results: A total of 415 symptoms were reported by the 200 patients on twice-daily PPIs. Throat clearing was most common (24%). A total of 110 (27%) were typical symptoms and 305 (73%) were atypical. Typical symptoms were more likely to have a positive SI than atypical symptoms (48% vs 25%, P < .01). Eighty-four patients (42%) had a positive SI, and 116 patients (58%) had a negative SI. One hundred patients (50%) had only NAR; the other 100 had mixed acid and NAR. Heartburn (21% vs 63%, P < .01) and nausea (8% vs 44%, P < .01) were more likely associated with reflux in the mixed-acid and NAR group. Conclusions: Patients on PPIs still experience GERD symptoms. Impedance-pH monitoring identifies similar symptom associations with all types of reflux and also clarifies symptoms not related to any reflux.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)521-524
Number of pages4
JournalClinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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