Predictors of treatment response in patients with non-erosive reflux disease
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BACKGROUND: Up to 40% of patients with non-erosive reflux disease (NERD) fail to respond to proton pump inhibitor therapy. AIM: To determine useful prognostic factors for response to and suppression in NERD. METHODS: A pooled analysis from three multicentre, double-blind trials of patients with a normal endoscopy and heartburn for 4 days or more during the 7 days prior to the start of each treatment. Patients received omeprazole 20 mg, esomeprazole 20 mg or esomeprazole 40 mg/day for 4 weeks. Complete resolution of heartburn was defined as no heartburn during the last week. RESULTS: Of 2458 patients included, complete heartburn resolution was achieved in 63% at the end of 4 weeks treatment. Response on days 5-7 provided an 85% probability of complete resolution of heartburn at 4 weeks; the probability of complete heartburn resolution at 4 weeks in those with moderate to severe symptoms on days 5-7 was 22%. Sensitivity and specificity of no heartburn on days 5-7 was 55% and 83% respectively. Patient demographics, duration of symptoms, medications used, other symptoms and body mass index were not predictors. CONCLUSION: Assessment of heartburn resolution during the first week of therapy was the best predictor of treatment success at 4 weeks in non-erosive reflux disease, but was suboptimal as a test.
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