Low-impedance Baseline Values Predict Severe Esophagitis

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The aim of the study was to determine whether esophageal baseline impedance (BI) values in children could be predictive of esophagitis.

Materials and Methods:

Multichannel intraluminal impedance (MII) tracings of children 3 to 17 years of age suspected of having gastroesophageal reflux and esophagitis, who had also undergone upper endoscopy with multiple esophageal biopsies, were reviewed. Patients with eosinophilic esophagitis were excluded. Esophagitis was assessed by macroscopic and microscopic parameters. Esophageal histology was reported by 2 blinded independent pathologists unaware of the MII results. Mean BI was automatically calculated in the different MII channels (ch) by the specific software without removing any episode of increased/decreased BI. BI results were plotted against macroscopic and histological scores for each channel.


Tracings of 87 children, 53 boys, were evaluated. Mean age was 7.4 years: 45 had histologic esophagitis, 8 macroscopic. Histologic mild esophagitis (grade 1) was observed in 30, and 15 had moderate to severe esophagitis (grade 2–3). Ten had grade 3 esophagitis. Eight had macroscopic esophagitis as well. Results: in channel 6 of the MII, all 10 patients with grade 3 esophagitis and the 8 with macroscopic esophagitis had a BI <900 Ω/s (positive predictive value 100% and negative predictive value 100%), whereas none of those having a biopsy score of 0 to 2 or no endoscopic evidence of esophagitis had a mean BI below 2000 Ω/s.


The evaluation of the BI measured in channel 6 gave us 100% prediction of grade 3 and macroscopic esophagitis. BI on channel 6 may be useful to predict severe esophageal mucosa inflammation and could potentially be used for follow-up evaluation, rather than repeating an upper endoscopy. In addition, it would seem that grade 3 esophagitis even in the absence of macroscopic esophagitis affects the integrity of the esophageal epithelium.

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