The evaluation of gastro-oesophageal reflux and oesophagocardiac reflex in patients with angina-like chest pain following cardiologic investigations.Int J Cardiol 2007; 118(1):62-8IJ
The aims of the study were to assess pathogenetic role of gastro-oesophageal reflux and the oesophago-cardiac reflex in subjects with chest pain. To evaluate the prevalence of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease and the oesophago-cardiac reflex in patients with different coronary artery diseases and in coronary spasm.
Fifty-one patients with chest pain were enrolled after detailed cardiologic evaluation including coronary angiography. The prevalence of gastrooesophageal reflux disease was established by symptom analysis, upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, 24-h oesophageal pH monitoring, and oesophageal manometry. The oesophago-cardiac reflex was established by oesophageal acid perfusion test (0.1 N HCl and 0.9% NaCl, 120-120 ml/10 min in a blinded manner) combined with transoesophageal Doppler echocardiographic coronary flow measurement in the left anterior descending artery.
Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease was established in 45% (23/51) of the patients. Oesophageal acid perfusion decreased the coronary flow velocity in 49% (25/51) of the patients indicating the presence of oesophago-cardiac reflex. Oesophago-cardiac reflex was present more frequently in patients with coronary spasm, than in patients with either epicardial coronary artery disease or microvascular coronary disease (p<0.02). Patients with oesophago-cardiac reflex had higher DeMeester scores, increased number of reflux episodes, fraction time below pH 4, and prolonged acid reflux episodes (p<0.05 for each parameter).
Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease is frequently established in patients with either epicardial or microvascular coronary artery disease or with coronary spasm. The oesophago-cardiac reflex was more frequently observed in patients with coronary spasm. The combination of oesophageal acid perfusion test and transoesophageal Doppler echocardiographic coronary flow measurement seems to be a useful method for the detection of this reflex. Patients with prolonged gastro-oesophageal acid reflux episodes, erosive oesophagitis and coronary spasm may be at higher risk for the development of linked-angina.