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Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2005 Sep 15;22(6):547-55.

The effect of a therapeutic trial of high-dose rabeprazole on symptom response of patients with non-cardiac chest pain: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial.

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The Neuro-Enteric Clinical Research Group, Section of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, Southern Arizona VA Health Care System, Tucson, AZ 85723, USA.



Therapeutic trials with high-dose lansoprazole and omeprazole have been shown to be sensitive clinical tools for diagnosing patients with gastro-oesophageal reflux disease-related non-cardiac chest pain.


To determine the clinical value of a therapeutic trial of high-dose rabeprazole over 7 days in detecting patients with gastro-oesophageal reflux disease-related non-cardiac chest pain.


Double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover study. Patients referred by a cardiologist after a comprehensive cardiac work-up were enrolled into the study. Oesophageal mucosal disease was determined by upper endoscopy and 24-h oesophageal pH monitoring assessed acid exposure. Patients were then randomized to either placebo or rabeprazole 20 mg am and 20 mg pm for 7 days. After a washout period of 1 week, patients crossed over to the other arm of the study for an additional 7 days. Patients completed a daily diary assessing severity and frequency of chest pain throughout the baseline, treatment and wash-out periods. The rabeprazole therapeutic trial was considered as a diagnostic tool, if chest pain scores improved > or =50% from baseline.


Of the 35 patients enrolled, 16 (46%) were diagnosed as gastro-oesophageal reflux disease-positive and 19 (54%) as gastro-oesophageal reflux disease-negative. Of the gastro-oesophageal reflux disease-positive patients, 12 of 16 (75%) had a significant symptom improvement on rabeprazole when compared with 3 of 16 (19%) on placebo (P = 0.029). Of the gastro-oesophageal reflux disease-negative group, only two of 19 (11%) improved significantly on the medication and four of 19 (21%) on placebo (P = 0.6599). The calculated sensitivity and specificity of the rabeprazole therapeutic trial was 75% and 90%, respectively.


A rabeprazole therapeutic trial is highly sensitive and specific for diagnosing gastro-oesophageal reflux disease-related non-cardiac chest pain patients.

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