Identification of Different Phenotypes of Esophageal Reflux Hypersensitivity and Implications for Treatment.
Reflux hypersensitivity (RH), a functional esophageal disorder, is detected in 14%-20% of patients who present with typical esophageal symptoms. As many as 40% of patients with RH do not respond to treatment with pain modulators or proton pump inhibitors (PPIs); behavior disorders might contribute to lack of treatment efficacy. We aimed to assess the prevalence of behavioral disorders and their effects on typical reflux symptoms in patients with RH.We performed a retrospective study of 542 patients with PPI-refractory esophageal symptoms (heartburn, regurgitation, or chest pain) or with symptoms that responded to PPI therapy, evaluated for anti-reflux surgery from January 2016 through August 2019 at a single center in London, United Kingdom. We collected data on symptoms, motility, and impedance-pH monitoring and assigned patients to categories of RH (n=116), functional heartburn (n=126), or non-erosive reflux disease (n=300).Of the 116 patients with a diagnosis of RH, 59 had only hypersensitivity, whereas 57 patients (49.2%) had either excessive supragastric belching (SGB, 39.7%), based on 24-hour impedance-pH monitoring, or rumination (9.5%), based on postprandial manometry combined with impedance. The prevalence of SGB and rumination in patients with RH was significantly higher than in patients with functional heartburn (22%; P