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Am J Gastroenterol. 2000 Feb;95(2):374-80.

Selection of patients for successful maintenance treatment of esophagitis with low-dose omeprazole: use of 24-hour gastric pH monitoring.

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  • 1Second Department of Internal Medicine, Evangelismos Hospital, Athens University, Greece.



Treating patients with erosive esophagitis and maintaining remission in a cost-effective fashion is a desirable goal in clinical practice. There are no established criteria to identify patients with healed esophagitis who will subsequently remain in remission with low-dose omeprazole therapy. We investigated whether 24-h esophageal-gastric pH monitoring could provide criteria to select patients for low-dose omeprazole maintenance therapy.


Seventy consecutive symptomatic outpatients with grade 2-3 reflux esophagitis were prospectively investigated. They were treated with 20 mg/day omeprazole for 2 months. Those with healed esophagitis were given alternate-evening 20-mg omeprazole maintenance therapy for 6 months. Clinical evaluation, endoscopy, and 24-h esophageal-gastric pH were done at the end of each treatment period. Results of pH studies of patients in remission were compared with those with endoscopically documented relapse of esophagitis.


In 63/70 patient (intention-to-treat, 90%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 83-97%) esophagitis was healed at 2 months. During the 6-month maintenance period esophagitis remain healed in 28 (G1) (40%; 95% CI, 29-52%), but recurred in 32 patients (G2). During healing with omeprazole 20 mg/day the 24-h gastric pH was below 4 for <10% of the time in 96% of the patients, who subsequently remained in long-term remission with low-dose maintenance therapy (G1), but not in any patient with recurrence of esophagitis (G2). The 10% threshold value has a specificity of 1.00 and sensitivity of 0.96.


The 24-h intragastric pH monitoring during 20 mg/day omeprazole therapy provides criteria by which to preselect patients with reflux esophagitis who will remain in remission with low-dose omeprazole therapy.

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