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J Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2016 Oct 30;22(4):606-612. doi: 10.5056/jnm15182.

Role of Mixed Reflux and Hypomotility with Delayed Reflux Clearance in Patients with Non-cardiac Chest Pain.

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Digestive Disease Unit, Campus Bio Medico University, Rome, Italy.



Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is the most common cause of non-cardiac chest pain (NCCP). Currently available data reveal a weak relationship between NCCP and dysmotility. Moreover, it is unclear why some refluxes are perceived as heartburn and others as NCCP. We aimed to evaluate the role of the reflux pattern and the esophageal motility in patients with NCCP.


Forty-eight patients with NCCP (Group 1) and 50 only typical GERD symptoms (Group 2) were included and underwent high-resolution manometry (HRM) and multichannel intraluminal impedance-pH monitoring.


Impaired peristalsis was found in 60% of patients with NCCP and in 24% of patients with typical symptoms (P < 0.05). In patients belonging to Group 1, the majority of reflux episodes associated with chest pain were acid and mixed. The proportion of mixed refluxes was higher than that in Group 2. In Group 1, the reflux clearing time at 5, 9, and 15 cm, measured in reflux episodes associated to NCCP was longer than in reflux episodes associated to typical symptoms (mean ± 95% CI: 27.2 ± 5.6, 23.3 ± 4.4, and 14.6 ± 2.3 seconds vs 18.3 ± 3.5, 13.3 ± 2.2, and 11.1 ± 1.8 seconds; P < 0.01).


The presence of gas in the refluxate seems to be associated with NCCP. The impaired motility observed in NCCP patients may play a relevant role in delaying reflux clearing, hence increasing the time of contact between refluxate and esophageal mucosa.


Gastroesophageal reflux; High-resolution manometry; Ineffective esophageal motility; Non-cardiac chest pain; Non-erosive reflux disease

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