Association Between Baseline Impedance Values and Response Proton Pump Inhibitors in Patients With Heartburn

Nicola de Bortoli, Irene Martinucci, Edoardo Savarino, Radu Tutuian, Marzio Frazzoni, Paolo Piaggi, Lorenzo Bertani, Manuele Furnari, Riccardo Franchi, Salvatore Russo, Massimo Bellini, Vincenzo Savarino, Santino Marchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background & Aims: Esophageal impedance measurements have been proposed to indicate the status of the esophageal mucosa, and might be used to study the roles of the impaired mucosal integrity and increased acid sensitivity in patients with heartburn. We compared baseline impedance levels among patients with heartburn who did and did not respond to proton pump inhibitor (PPI) therapy, along with the pathophysiological characteristics of functional heartburn (FH). Methods: In a case-control study, we collected data from January to December 2013 on patients with heartburn and normal findings from endoscopy who were not receiving PPI therapy and underwent impedance pH testing at hospitals in Italy. Patients with negative test results were placed on an 8-week course of PPI therapy (84 patients received esomeprazole and 36 patients received pantoprazole). Patients with more than 50% symptom improvement were classified as FH/PPI responders and patients with less than 50% symptom improvement were classified as FH/PPI nonresponders. Patients with hypersensitive esophagus and healthy volunteers served as controls. In all patients and controls, we measured acid exposure time, number of reflux events, baseline impedance, and swallow-induced peristaltic wave indices. Results: FH/PPI responders had higher acid exposure times, numbers of reflux events, and acid refluxes compared with FH/PPI nonresponders (P <.05). Patients with hypersensitive esophagus had mean acid exposure times and numbers of reflux events similar to those of FH/PPI responders. Baseline impedance levels were lower in FH/PPI responders and patients with hypersensitive esophagus, compared with FH/PPI nonresponders and healthy volunteers (P <.001). Swallow-induced peristaltic wave indices were similar between FH/PPI responders and patients with hypersensitive esophagus. Conclusions: Patients with FH who respond to PPI therapy have impedance pH features similar to those of patients with hypersensitive esophagus. Baseline impedance measurements might allow for identification of patients who respond to PPIs but would be classified as having FH based on conventional impedance-pH measurements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1082-1088.e1
JournalClinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2015


  • Functional GI Disorder
  • GERD
  • PH Monitoring
  • PH-Impedance Monitoring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology
  • Hepatology


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