2016-07-05 14:33:50 UTC

Epithelial Thickness is a Marker for GERD

July 5, 2016

CGH article in press finds total epithelial thickness to be a robust histologic marker for gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Overlap with symptoms arising from functional upper GI disorders frequently poses challenges for a confident symptom-based diagnosis of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). A recently published Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology (CGH) article in press by Michael Vieth, MD, and colleagues looked to determine how histologic criteria could help in the assessment of GERD.

Based on an analysis of 336 patients with frequent upper GI symptoms, the researchers found that total epithelial thickness of the distal esophageal mucosa is the most robust histological marker for not only the whole group with investigation-defined GERD, but also for the subgroup of patients with non-erosive reflux disease, which is the important diagnostic challenge. When measured at 0.5 cm or 2.0 cm above the Z-line, total epithelial thickness was a significant predictor of the presence of investigation-defined GERD, reflux esophagitis, pathological esophageal acid exposure and non-erosive reflux disease.

These findings are promising for clinical practice because, provided that the gastroesophageal junction is accurately identified, they suggest that evaluation of one relatively, easily assessed and standardized histological marker can improve recognition of GERD when endoscopy shows no erosions. This measure may also be useful when pH testing is not available.

For complete insights, read the full study on the CGH website (login required).

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