Biomarkers of Reflux Disease

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Abstract

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) encompasses an array of disorders unified by the reflux of gastric contents. Because there are many potential disease manifestations, esophageal and extraesophageal, there is no single biomarker of the entire disease spectrum; a set of GERD biomarkers that each quantifies specific aspects of GERD-related pathology might be needed. We review recent reports of biomarkers of GERD, specifically in relation to endoscopically negative esophageal disease and excluding conventional pH-impedance monitoring. We consider histopathologic biomarkers, baseline impedance, and serologic assays to determine that most markers are based on manifestations of impaired esophageal mucosal integrity, which is based on increased ionic and molecular permeability, and/or destruction of tight junctions. Impaired mucosal integrity quantified by baseline mucosal impedance, proteolytic fragments of junctional proteins, or histopathologic features has emerged as a promising GERD biomarker.

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