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Am J Gastroenterol. 2002 Feb;97(2):270-2.

Impact of esophageal acid exposure on the endoscopic reversal of Barrett's esophagus.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Southern Arizona VA Health Care System and University of Arizona Health Sciences Center, Tucson 85723, USA.



Normalization of esophageal acid exposure had been assumed to be necessary for the reversal of Barrett's esophagus with endoscopic therapy. This assumption is examined by evaluating the esophageal pH in a group of patients undergoing reversal therapy with fixed high-dose proton pump inhibitor therapy and endoscopic multipolar electrocoagulation (MPEC).


Patients with Barrett's esophagus of 2-6 cm in length were treated with omeprazole (40 mg b.i.d.). They underwent 24-h esophageal pH monitoring 5 cm above the upper margin of the lower esophageal sphincter determined by a water-perfused catheter. They then underwent MPEC therapy to an endpoint of elimination of Barrett's (reversal) by both endoscopy and biopsy 6 months after the last MPEC session or failure to achieve visual (endoscopic) reversal after six treatment sessions.


Twenty patients had 24-h pH testing and reached a reversal endpoint. Three patients had abnormal pH tests, two total and supine and one supine only. These patients had documented reversal. The remaining 17 patients had normal pH testing but five failed reversal therapy.


Barrett's esophagus can be completely reversed with endoscopic therapy despite abnormal esophageal acid exposure. Also, patients can fail reversal even with normal esophageal acid exposure. The necessary reduction of esophageal acid exposure for reversal therapy has yet to be defined.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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