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Scand J Gastroenterol. 2004 Nov;39(11):1061-5.

Reflux esophagitis after eradication of Helicobacter pylori is associated with the degree of hiatal hernia.

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Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Internal Medicine, Mie University School of Medicine, Tsu, Mie 514-8507, Japan.



Several studies have shown that reflux esophagitis (RE) occurs after eradication of Helicobacter pylori. However, endoscopic findings do not allow prediction of the development of RE after successful treatment. In this study, we evaluated the relationship between the prevalence of RE after eradication therapy and the degree of hiatal hernia.


The study comprised 148 patients who had undergone H. pylori eradication therapy over the past 5 years. The degree of RE and hiatal hernia was evaluated based on endoscopic findings. Hiatal hernia was graded according to Hill's gastroesophageal flap valve (GEFV; grades I-IV) classification. RE after eradication therapy was graded according to the Los Angeles classification system. H. pylori infection was confirmed in all patients by culture, urease test and histological examination of antral and fundic biopsy specimens.


Among 148 patients, there were 122 patients (82.4%) with successful and 26 (17.6%) with failed eradication therapy. RE was diagnosed in 25 (20.5%) out of 122 patients with successful therapy but only in 1 (3.8%) out of 26 patients with failed therapy (P < 0.05). After successful eradication, 25 patients had mild RE (12 with grade A, 13 with grade B). Among patients of the successful eradication group (n = 122), RE was diagnosed in 2 (5.3%) out of 38 patients without hiatal hernia and in 23 (27.4%) out of 84 patients with hiatal hernia (P = 0.0051). Furthermore, RE was diagnosed in 2 (5.3%) out of 38 patients with GEFV grade I, 13 (24.1%) out of 54 with grade II, 7 (30.4%) among 23 with grade III, and 3 (42.9%) out of 7 patients with grade IV. The pH level of gastric juice after eradication therapy was lower in the group with successful eradication than in the group with failed therapy regardless of the incidence and degree of RE.


There is a high incidence of RE after successful H. pylori eradication therapy. This incidence of RE was closely associated with the presence and degree of hiatal hernia and with the decrease in gastric juice pH. These findings suggest that the presence of hiatal hernia together with increase in gastric acidity are important determinant factors for the development of RE after successful H. pylori eradication therapy.

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