Male sex, hiatus hernia, andHelicobacter pyloriinfection associated with asymptomatic erosive esophagitis

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Background and Aims:|

Asymptomatic erosive esophagitis (AEE) is an easily forgotten subgroup of gastroesophageal reflux disease due to its lack of warning symptoms, despite having the risk of developing complications, such as bleeding, stricture, or even esophageal adenocarcinoma.


A total of 2843 potentially eligible patients were screened at the health management center of Buddhist Tzu Chi General Hospital. A total of 1001 patients responded to the survey and gave informed consent; 998 patients who completed the reflux disease diagnostic questionnaire were enrolled. Of them, 594 patients who had no reflux symptoms were included for final analysis. The presence and severity of erosive esophagitis was graded according to the Los Angeles classification. Active infection of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) was determined by the Campylo-like organism (CLO) test during endoscopies.


A total of 14.5% (86/594) of asymptomatic patients had endoscopic findings of erosive esophagitis. In the univariate analysis, male sex and hiatus hernia were significantly associated with AEE. Positive CLO tests had a trend association. Based on the multivariate analysis, male sex (odds ratio [OR]: 2.32, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.35–3.98), hiatus hernia (OR: 4.48, 95% CI: 2.35–89.17), and positive CLO test (OR: 0.57, 95% CI: 0.34–0.95) were associated with AEE, as compared to the healthy controls.


AEE is not a rare condition, and constitutes 14.5% of the asymptomatic population. Male sex, hiatus hernia, and H. pylori infection are factors associated with AEE. These findings are not only helpful in identifying such asymptomatic patients, but also provide information to improve understanding of the relationship between H. pylori infection, reflux symptoms, and erosive esophagitis.

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