It has been postulated that nonerosive reflux disease (NERD) and erosive reflux disease (ERD) are 2 distinct entities of gastroesophageal reflux disease. The aim of this study was to compare the clinical characteristics between patients with NERD and those with ERD.
We prospectively recruited consecutive patients presenting with weekly attacks of heartburn or acid regurgitation. Exclusion criteria included gastric surgery, recent use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug or proton pump inhibitor, and peptic ulcer disease. Concomitant functional dyspepsia, irritable bowel syndrome, and psychological disorders were documented. Endoscopy, esophageal manometry, acid perfusion test, and 24-hour ambulatory pH monitoring were performed. Risk factors of NERD were determined by multivariate analysis.
Two hundred fourteen patients (NERD, 113; ERD, 111) were studied. NERD patients were characterized by higher prevalence of Helicobacter pylori (36.3% vs 18%, P = .005), functional dyspepsia (64.6% vs 42.3%, P = .003), irritable bowel syndrome (44.2% vs 15.3%, P < .001), psychological disorders (9% vs 0.9%, P = .04), and positive acid perfusion test (40.7% vs 19.8%, P = .004). ERD patients had more hiatal hernias (35.1% vs 17.1%, P = .009), higher esophageal acid exposure (total time esophageal pH <4, 4.2% +/- 2.1% vs 5.9% +/- 2.3%; P = .01), and esophageal dysmotility (P < .05). With multivariate analysis, H pylori (odds ratio, 1.8; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.1-3.2), irritable bowel syndrome (odds ratio, 2.8; 95% CI, 1.6-5.3), and positive acid perfusion test (odds ratio, 1.9; 95% CI, 1.4-2.8) were independent risk factors for NERD.
Patients with NERD and ERD have distinct differences in clinical characteristics. NERD is characterized by higher prevalence of functional gastrointestinal disorders and esophageal acid hypersensitivity.