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      Pharmacological Management of Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease: An Update of the State-of-the-Art

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          Abstract

          Gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a highly prevalent, chronic disorder, whose knowledge remains limited and the management of these patients changes continuously. This review provides a summary of the most recent advancements in the pathogenesis of this disease and the new drugs introduced into the market to overcome some of the unmet needs of traditional therapies. Nowadays, the most fruitful diagnostic examinations are 24-hour impedance-pH monitoring, which allows us to separate true NERD from esophageal functional disorders and high-resolution manometry, which helps to exclude the existence of motility disorders sharing the same symptoms of GERD. Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) remain the first-choice therapy in the treatment of GERD, but a consistent proportion of these patients continue to experience symptoms despite their intake. These cases pertain mainly to the subpopulation with non-erosive reflux disease (NERD) and represent very challenging clinical situations, because it is mandatory to understand the reasons for PPI failure. The management of these difficult patients requires necessarily to test them and avoid the use of empiric treatments that are often unsuccessful, costly and potentially dangerous. Recently, several new drugs have been used to increase the defensive properties of this mucosa with promising results in randomized clinical trials.

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          Most cited references 101

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          Epidemiology of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease: a systematic review.

          A systematic review of the epidemiology of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) has been performed, applying strict criteria for quality of studies and the disease definition used. The prevalence and incidence of GORD was estimated from 15 studies which defined GORD as at least weekly heartburn and/or acid regurgitation and met criteria concerning sample size, response rate, and recall period. Data on factors associated with GORD were also evaluated. An approximate prevalence of 10-20% was identified for GORD, defined by at least weekly heartburn and/or acid regurgitation in the Western world while in Asia this was lower, at less than 5%. The incidence in the Western world was approximately 5 per 1000 person years. A number of potential risk factors (for example, an immediate family history and obesity) and comorbidities (for example, respiratory diseases and chest pain) associated with GORD were identified. Data reported in this systematic review can be interpreted with confidence as reflecting the epidemiology of "true" GORD. The disease is more common in the Western world than in Asia, and the low rate of incidence relative to prevalence reflects its chronicity. The small number of studies eligible for inclusion in this review highlights the need for global consensus on a symptom based definition of GORD.
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            High prevalence of gastroesophageal reflux symptoms and esophagitis with or without symptoms in the general adult Swedish population: a Kalixanda study report.

            Gastroesophageal reflux disease has been reported to be a common burden on health-care resources in the Western world, but its manifestations in the general population are as yet unclear. The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of, and to identify the risk factors for gastroesophageal reflux symptoms (GERS) and erosive esophagitis (EE) in the adult population of two Swedish municipalities. A random sample (n =3000) of the adult population (20-81 years of age) of two Swedish municipalities (n =21,610) was surveyed using a validated postal questionnaire assessing gastrointestinal symptoms. The response rate was 74%. A subsample (n = 1000) of the responders was subsequently invited, in random order, for esophago-gastro-duodenoscopy with evaluation of GERS, risk factors and tests for Helicobacter pylori. GERS were reported by 40.0% and EE was found in 15.5% of the population that had undergone endoscopy. Of those with GERS, 24.5% had EE while 36.8% of those with EE reported no GERS. Hiatus hernia and obesity remained significant risk factors for GERS and/or EE, with or without symptoms in a main effect model (OR up to 14 at EE). Those with active H. pylori infection had a higher risk of GERS without EE than those without H. pylori infection (OR = 1.71 (1.23 2.38)). GERS and EE (of which one-third is asymptomatic) are highly prevalent in the Swedish adult population. H. pylori infection seems to play a role in the manifestations of gastroesophageal reflux.
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              Effectiveness of proton pump inhibitors in nonerosive reflux disease.

              Little information is available about the efficacy of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) in patients with nonerosive reflux disease (NERD). We aimed to synthesize available data and determine the effectiveness of PPIs on symptom resolution in patients with NERD. A systematic review of the literature identified studies reporting the effects of PPIs in patients with NERD. Heartburn resolution data were pooled across studies. The effectiveness of PPI therapy in inducing complete heartburn resolution was compared in patients with NERD vs. erosive esophagitis (EE). Seven trials evaluating heartburn resolution in NERD were identified. Higher proportions of patients reported achieving sufficient heartburn resolution compared with complete heartburn resolution. The effect of PPIs on sufficient heartburn resolution was observed sooner than was complete heartburn resolution. Therapeutic gain of PPI therapy over placebo ranged from 30% to 35% for sufficient heartburn control and from 25% to 30% for complete heartburn control. Pooled response rates at 4 weeks were significantly higher for patients with EE compared with NERD (56% vs. 37%, P < 0.0001). PPIs provide a more modest therapeutic gain in patients with NERD as compared with those with EE. A trend in increased therapeutic gain for NERD patients was shown throughout the 4 weeks, suggesting that 4 weeks of follow-up evaluation may be insufficient to show full therapeutic gain in this patient population.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                dddt
                dddt
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                Dove
                1177-8881
                19 April 2021
                2021
                : 15
                : 1609-1621
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Internal Medicine (DIMI), University of Genoa , Genoa, Italy
                [2 ]Department of Translational Research and New Technologies in Medicine and Surgery, University of Pisa , Pisa, Italy
                [3 ]Department of Surgery, Oncology and Gastroenterology, University of Padova , Padova, Italy
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Vincenzo Savarino Department of Internal Medicine (DIMI), University of Genoa , Genoa, Italy Email vsavarin@unige.it
                Article
                306371
                10.2147/DDDT.S306371
                8064680
                © 2021 Savarino et al.

                This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms ( https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php).

                Page count
                Figures: 1, Tables: 6, References: 101, Pages: 13
                Categories
                Review

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