Department of Internal Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
We assessed the bolus transit and motility characteristics in gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) patients with abnormal esophageal pH monitoring.
We retrospectively reviewed the combined impedance-esophageal manometry data from consecutive patients who had abnormal acid exposure during 24-hour esophageal pH monitoring. We compared these data to the results from functional heartburn (FH) and asymptomatic volunteers.
The data from 33 GERD patients (mean age of 51 years, 18 males), 14 FH patients (mean age of 51 years, one male), and 20 asymptomatic volunteers (mean age of 27 years, nine males) were analyzed. Ineffective esophageal motility was diagnosed in 10% of the volunteers, 21% of the FH patients, and 15% of the GERD patients. Ineffective contraction was more frequent in GERD and FH patients than in volunteers (16% and 20% vs 6%, respectively; p<0.05). Additionally, 10% of the volunteers, 21% of the FH patients and 36% of the GERD patients had an abnormal bolus transit. Complete bolus transit was less frequent, and bolus transit was slower in GERD patients than in volunteers for liquid (70% vs 85%) and viscous swallows (57% vs 73%). A longer acid clearance time was associated with abnormal bolus transit in the GERD group.
Patients with GERD have mild peristaltic dysfunction and incomplete and slower esophageal bolus transit. These conditions predispose them to prolonged acid contact with the esophagus.