ABSTRACT: Information on the relationships between gastro-oesophageal reflux (GOR), reflux symptoms, hiatal hernia (HH) and oesophagitis, and the response to antisecretory treatment is lacking. In a multicentre study endoscopy, ambulatory 24-h pH monitoring and symptom assessment were carried out in 142 patients with symptomatic reflux disease before and during treatment with ranitidine. Using a randomized, double-blind design, patients took ranitidine 150 mg bid or 300 mg bid. Macroscopic oesophagitis (grade I or II) was found in 85 patients; the remaining 57 patients had normal oesophageal mucosa. A significant correlation was found between the presence of an HH and the presence of oesophagitis. Symptom scores were similar in patients with and without oesophagitis, and in patients with and without HH. Patients with oesophagitis had significantly greater oesophageal acid exposure during the night, and in the total 24-h period, but not during the day. Likewise, patients with HH had greater acid exposure during the night (p < 0.008). Both doses of ranitidine significantly decreased oesophageal acid exposure and the effect was independent of baseline acid exposure. Reflux symptoms cannot be used to differentiate between presence or absence of oesophagitis and/or HH. Reflux patients without oesophagitis have less night-time reflux. Ranitidine dose-dependently decreases oesophageal acid exposure, and the effect is independent of baseline reflux.
Scandinavian journal of gastroenterology. Supplement 02/1996; 218:10-5.