Background — Patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease may or may not have endoscopic esophagitis; there are few studies comparing these groups among themselves. Objectives - This study was designed in order to evaluate differences between patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease with and without esophagitis. Patients/Methods - A hundred and twenty-two patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease characterized by esophageal endoscopy and pHmetry were included, 90 with and 32 without esophagitis. Assessment involved an anamnesis, including the following data: age, sex, heartburn, dysphasia, non-cardiac chest pain and respiratory symptoms. Heartburn was analyzed in more detail, its duration, intensity and periodicity being determined. Results - No statistical significant difference was observed between the groups, regarding age, sex or presence of symptoms. However, in the group with esophagitis, heartburn classified as severe or very severe was more frequent. Conclusions - 1. The groups of patients with or without esophagitis analyzed were very similar concerning age, gender and presence of symptoms. However, regarding the heartburn's intensity, it was more intense in the group with esophagitis. 2. Among patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease, there is a large number of cases without esophagitis (26.2%) and that prolonged pH-monitoring is fundamental in its identification; 3. A better definition of reflux disease, esophagitis and pathological reflux is needed, in order to allow better diagnostic accuracy and comparisons in different studies on this subject.
Gastroesophageal reflux; Esophagitis, peptic