Esomeprazole Helps Most Barrett's Esophagus Patients

But abnormal esophageal acid persists in 16 to 23 percent of patients

THURSDAY, Sept. 28 (HealthDay News) -- A five-day esomeprazole regimen significantly cuts esophageal acidity in most Barrett's esophagus patients, but abnormal acidity lingers in 16 to 23 percent of patients, researchers report in the September issue of the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

Stuart J. Spechler, M.D., of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, and colleagues compared intragastric and intraesophageal acidity in 31 Barrett's esophagus patients who were randomized to three different esomeprazole regimens for five days.

On day five, the researchers found an intragastric pH of greater than 4.0 for 88.4 percent of patients on three daily 40-mg esomeprazole doses, which was significantly more effective than two daily 40-mg doses (81.4 percent) and three daily 20-milligram doses (80.4 percent). But abnormal esophageal acid exposure lingered in 16 to 23 percent of the patients, the report indicates.

"These results suggest that the apparent 'proton pump inhibitor resistance' described in patients with Barrett's esophagus may be caused by their profound reflux diathesis rather than by gastric resistance to the antisecretory effects of proton pump inhibitors," the authors write.

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