Results of ambulatory pH monitoring do not reliably predict response to therapy in patients with eosinophilic oesophagitis

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Abstract

Background

The consensus statements for eosinophilic oesophagitis recommend that ambulatory pH monitoring is one means of determining if gastro-oesophageal reflux is the cause of oesophageal eosinophilia and should guide pharmacological therapy.

Aim

To evaluate prospectively the accuracy of pH monitoring as a predictor of endoscopic, histological and symptomatic response in patients with oesophageal eosinophilia.

Methods

We conducted a prospective trial in which patients with oesophageal eosinophilic infiltration with ≥15 eos/hpf underwent a 24-h pH study and were placed in one of two treatment arms for 6 weeks based on positive or negative results. Patients with abnormal acid exposure were treated with esomeprazole 40 mg twice daily and others were treated with oral viscous budesonide 1 g twice daily. Response to treatment was assessed by oesophageal histology (<5 eos/hpf) and symptoms.

Results

A total of 51 patients were enrolled in the study. The average patient age was 39 years and 31 patients (61%) were male. The average number of eosinophils per hpf, prior to study enrolment was 41.2 (range 15–140, s.d. 27.7). Nineteen (37%) had positive pH studies and 32 (63%) had negative pH studies. Eighteen patients completed treatment with esomeprazole. Only eleven (61%) had histological response and, of these eleven, five (46%) had symptomatic improvement. A total of 28 patients with normal acid exposure completed treatment with budesonide. Only 16 (57%) had histological and 11 (69%) had symptomatic improvement.

Conclusion

In this prospective trial of pH-guided treatment, neither positive nor negative results of initial pH monitoring accurately predicted response to therapy.

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