Both gastric acid and duodenal juice have been implicated in Barrett's oesophagus. The aim of this study was to look at duodenal reflux in the oesophagus together with motility characteristics in a group of patients with Barrett's oesophagus and compare them with a mild oesophagitis group and to assess the effect of cisapride on any abnormalities.
A prospective study comparing the two groups of patients was carried out.
Twenty patients with histologically proven Barrett's oesophagus and 20 patients with Savary-Miller grade 2 oesophagitis were studied. Standard oesophageal manometric measurements were carried out and on a separate occasion duodenogastro-oesophageal reflux (DGOR) was measured over a 4-h period using a sodium ion selective electrode. Patients with more than 5% DGOR were given cisapride (10 mg four times daily) and the studies repeated after 7 days of treatment.
Barrett's patients showed more DGOR, 12.2% of the study time compared to 5.1% in the mild oesophagitis group, P = 0.012, but manometric findings were not significantly different. Sixteen patients were treated with cisapride. DGOR was reduced in 8 out of 12 Barrett's patients and 2 out of 4 oesophagitis patients, and proximal amplitude and distal oesophageal pressures were significantly elevated (P = 0.05 and P = 0.03, respectively).
Monitoring of sodium ions in the oesophagus shows that patients with Barrett's oesophagus have significantly more DGOR than patients with uncomplicated oesophagitis and cisapride may be effective in removal of this reflux.