Lege Artis Medicinae

[Atypical forms of the gastroesophageal reflux disease]

KIS János Tibor1, NEMESÁNSZKY Elemér1

AUGUST 20, 2002

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2002;12(08)

[There is growing interest in the gastroenterology literature towards gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) these days. The prevalence of the disease is much higher than estimated earlier and it frequently appears in atypical forms. Literature data suggests that 30-40% of the individuals suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease. A broad spectrum of presentation of gastroesophageal reflux disease exists, e.g. noncardiac chest-pain, ear-nose-throat symptoms, pulmonary symptoms, dental erosions, chronic cough and hiccups. Atypical forms often cause diagnostic and treatment difficulties. Authors analyze the frequency, morbidity and the pathomechanism of the extraesophageal manifestations, based on self-experience. The main goal of the review is to help to establish the diagnosis of GERD, to recognize its atypical signs and to outline the diagnostic steps to be taken. Most up-to-date treatment strategies are also presented. By the demonstration of interesting cases, authors emphasize the diagnostic importance of intragastric pH-monitoring.]

AFFILIATIONS

  1. Budai Irgalmasrendi Kórház Kht., Belgyógyászat és Gasztroenterológiai Osztály, Budapest

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[INTRODUCTION - Following the total socioeconomic changes in Hungary in 1989, no scientific analysis has been made about physicians' religious attributes in the new circumstances. These attributes, after four decades of political anticlericalism may affect essentially the ideological and socio-economic patterns of medical professionalism. Hungary’s 2001 census favoured such an inquiry, since it went back to the traditional questions about religious affiliations. METHODS - The ”sensitive” questions ot the census were accepted without any obstacle in the whole population and backed up the present study together with the newly established religious atmosphere in the hospital of roman catholic Hospitaller Brothers of St. John of God, which was reopened on the 1st of July, 2000. The collection of data started in November 2000 ending in December 2001. All 98 full time employed physicians participated in the inquiry carried out by personal interviews guided by the same 51 questions. Following more than half a century span, the aim of the present study was to gain measurable information about the doctors’ unknown religious affiliation and its impact on clinical problems with ethical dimensions. RESULTS - All the doctors cooperated willingly in face-to-face interviews. There was a high proportion of religious affiliation (83 persons out of 98) without any sign of mysticism in the professional values. However, the pre-eminent role of psychological factors in the healing process was stressed, opposed to the simplified materialism of medicine. The same ideological pattern was represented while ranking other professions in the social hierarchy. No physicians experienced a conflict between their religious belief and professional activity in the dayto- day service. CONCLUSION - According to the extremely underpaid medical profession in Hungary, doctors of the new hospital do not believe that now they should tolerate their underpaid status as altruistic missionaries. However, they know exactly that balancing professionalism and business of medicine, is not a task for a single hospital but an urgent one of the whole society.]

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[Endothelial cells - under autocrine and paracrine control - may have a central role in the regulation of vascular tone. Endothelial dysfunction is a very early sign of heart failure but the clinical consequence is not well understood. Recent evidence suggests that upregulation of the neuro-endocrine-, and the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system would lead to increased tissue- and circulating angiotensin-II levels. Elevated concentration of angiotensin-II provides a mechanism by which vasomotor responses to nitric oxide, prostaglandins are blunted, while the effects of vasoconstrictors such as thromboxans, endothelin and chatecholamins are enhanced. The higher basal vascular tone leads to the degeneration and atrophy of skeletal muscle, moreover to the the ischaemic damage of myocardial cells. Because renin-angiotensinaldosterone system is under genetic control, the deleterious effects of angiotensin-II depends on the angiotensin-converting enzyme gene. Pharmacological attempts to counteract endothelial dysfunction in heart failure may include the angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor, which can potentially improve the endothel dependent vasodilatation response. The importance of measuring endothelial function by non-invasive techniques is yet unknown, thus, before we introduce the widespread testing of patients for endothelial function, more research has to be done.]

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[INTRODUCTION - Gastroesophageal reflux is known to cause chronic cough and it is also implicated in worsening of asthma. We conducted a prospective study to examine the clinical significance of gastroesophageal reflux disease in asthmatic patients with chronic cough, to analyse the temporal relationship between reflux events and coughing and to assess the effect of esomeprazole treatment on respiratory symptoms and lung function in these patients. PATIENTS AND METHODS - 126 asthmatic patients with chronic dry cough were studied. Diagnosis of gastroesophageal reflux disease was based on typical symptoms and the effectiveness of therapeutic test or on pH monitoring, while control group consisted of the patients without gastroesophageal reflux (negative pH results). The study group patients received the proton pump inhibitor esomeprazole (40 mg/day for three months) and standard treatment for asthma was continued. During the study pulmonary function tests (forced expiratory volume in one second and peak expiratory flow) were evaluated four times and the reflux symptom scores as well, using a questionnaire. RESULTS - The results of pH monitoring showed that 64% of cough episodes were related to acid reflux and in 91% of reflux events preceded coughing. Esomeprazole treatment (40 mg/day for three months) not only diminished gastroesophageal reflux symptoms but also improved asthma outcome measures. Baseline pulmonary function values increased significantly together with a decrease in symptom scores and the use of rescue medication. In most patients included in the extended part of the study for another three months, the dose of inhaled steroids could be reduced with sustained therapy against gastroesophageal reflux. CONCLUSION - Our data shows that reflux events preceded coughing in most cases and that treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease caused an improvement in different outcome measures of asthma suggest that gastroesophageal reflux disease worsens asthma and its treatment is of clinical importance in the effective management of these patients.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

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[INTRODUCTION - Recent studies have shown a potential relationship between gastroesophageal reflux disease and daytime sleepiness. The increased sleepiness is one of the symptoms due to decreased daytime performance caused by the breathing difficulties during sleep. The aim of this study was to analyse the potential relationship between gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and daytime somnolence. PATIENTS AND METHODS - The Epworth Sleepiness Scale was used to assess daytime somnolence for 134 patients undergoing upper panendoscopy and it was correlated to the severity of the endoscopic findings, according to the Savary-Miller classification. Data was analysed witf multivariant linear and logistic regression analysis. RESULTS - A positive tendency was found between reflux disease and daytime somnolence along with the severity of GERD. In the case of the more severe type - Savary-Miller III - the increase of daytime somnolence was significantly higher (p<0,05), than in the case of nonerosive type wich represents the mildest degree of reflux disease. CONCLUSION - According to the results of the study the more severe forms of GERD can influence the effect on daytime somnolence.]

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