Management of reflux esophagitis: does the choice of proton pump inhibitor matter?
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BACKGROUND: Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are the treatment of choice for reflux esophagitis (RE). The effectiveness of PPIs throughout RE management, from healing to maintenance, has not been fully studied. AIM: To compare esomeprazole with lansoprazole or pantoprazole for RE management using a management model. METHODS: Data from six studies comparing esomeprazole with lansoprazole or pantoprazole for healing (4-8 weeks) or maintenance of healing (6 months) of RE were incorporated into hypothetical management models to determine the proportion of patients in endoscopic remission after sequential healing and maintenance therapy, assuming that patients received the same PPI throughout. The number needed to treat (NNT) to achieve one more patient in remission with esomeprazole vs. other PPIs was estimated. The hypothetical model was validated using results from the EXPO study, which compared esomeprazole with pantoprazole for RE healing and maintenance. RESULTS: Overall, esomeprazole 40 mg produced higher rates of healing (life-table estimates) than lansoprazole 30 mg (82.4-92.6% vs. 77.5-88.8%; p < 0.01) or pantoprazole 40 mg (95.5% vs. 92.0%; p < 0.001) and higher rates of endoscopic and symptomatic remission at 6 months than lansoprazole (83.0-84.8% vs. 74.0-75.9%; p < 0.001; life-table estimates) or pantoprazole (70.9% vs. 59.6%; p < 0.0001; observed rates). In the hypothetical management model, the NNT for esomeprazole was 9 vs. lansoprazole and 8 vs. pantoprazole. The actual NNT for esomeprazole vs. pantoprazole in the EXPO study was 9 (95% confidence interval: 6; 16). CONCLUSIONS: In this management model, esomeprazole was more effective than either lansoprazole or pantoprazole for maintaining remission after sequential healing and 6 months' maintenance therapy for RE.
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