Scoring of reflux symptoms associated with scleroderma and the usefulness of rabeprazole.Clin Exp Rheumatol 2009 May-Jun; 27(3 Suppl 54):15-21CE
The high frequency of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) as a complication of scleroderma (systemic sclerosis, SSc) calls for treatment with powerful acid suppressants such as proton pump inhibitors (PPI). The present study used a GERD-specific questionnaire to assess the symptoms of GERD in SSc patients, and examine the effectiveness of rabeprazole (RPZ) for treating the symptoms of GERD.
The Frequency Scale for the Symptoms of GERD (FSSG), a medical questionnaire developed in Japan for evaluating GERD, and the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) were used to evaluate GERD symptoms and the degree of pain, respectively, in 151 SSc subjects. These tools were also used to assess the effect of 8 weeks' treatment with the PPI RPZ (10 mg/day).
Data on age and gender, and FSSG and VAS scores before treatment and after 4 and 8 weeks' RPZ treatment, were available for 84 subjects. The mean FSSG score was 13.9+/-9.7 before treatment, 8.3+/-8.1 after 4 weeks of treatment, and 7.0+/-7.0 after 8 weeks of treatment; the score reduction was significant (p<0.001) indicating the effectiveness of RPZ in improving subjective GERD symptoms. The VAS scores revealed a significant improvement in pain after both 4 and 8 weeks compared with baseline scores. Six subjects experienced adverse effects and five discontinued the analysis during the period.
Administration of RPZ 10 mg/day is effective for the control of the symptoms of GERD associated with SSc. In addition to assessing the symptoms of GERD, the FSSG questionnaire can be used to evaluate the therapeutic effect of drugs.