Introduction: Weakly acidic reflux has been reported to be the major cause of symptoms in patients with proton pump inhibitor (PPI)-refractory nonerosive reflux disease (NERD) undergoing PPI treatment. We previously reported that reflux at pH 4-5 was the main factor that induced symptoms in such patients. The present study aimed to elucidate the symptom-ameliorating effect of vonoprazan (VPZ) by evaluating the change in the pH value of the refluxate using multichannel intraluminal impedance and pH (MII-pH) monitoring. Methods: We retrospectively evaluated the records of MII-pH monitoring in 29 symptom index (SI) and/or symptom association probability (SAP)-positive patients with PPI-refractory NERD. After switching to VPZ 20 mg/day, we performed MII-pH monitoring again. We assessed the change in the score of the frequency scale for the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (FSSG), the pH value of the refluxate, and the percent times of intragastric pH <4 or <5 before and after switching. We divided the patients into the following 2 groups according to the FSSG score after switching: effective and noneffective groups. Results: Among of the 29 SI/SAP-positive patients, 16 underwent switching to VPZ. Furthermore, of these 16 patients, 10 underwent MII-pH monitoring again after switching. The FSSG score decreased, the pH value of the refluxate increased, and the percent times of intragastric pH <4 or <5 reduced after switching when compared with the findings before switching. In the effective group, both the proportion of reflux at pH <4 and that of reflux at pH 4-5 decreased while taking VPZ when compared with the findings while taking double-dose PPI. In the noneffective group, the proportion of reflux at pH <4 decreased but that of reflux at pH 4-5 increased and that of reflux at pH <5 did not change overall while taking VPZ. In addition, the percent times of intragastric pH <5 values were low in the effective group. Conclusion: Symptom suppression appears to be inadequate in patients with persistent reflux at pH 4-5 even with VPZ 20 mg/day. Strong acid suppressive therapy with VPZ to increase the pH value of the refluxate to ≥5 is useful for symptom improvement.
ASJC Scopus subject areas