To determine the characteristics of postprandial proximal gastric acid pockets (PPGAPs) and their association with gastroesophageal acid reflux in patients with Barrett’s esophagus (BE).
Fifteen patients with BE (defined by columnar lined esophagus of ≥1 cm) and 15 healthy individuals that were matched for age, gender, and body mass index, were recruited. The fasting intragastric pH and the appearance time, length, lowest pH, and mean pH of the PPGAP were determined using a single pH electrode pull-through experiment. For BE patients, a gastroesophageal reflux disease questionnaire (GerdQ) was completed and esophageal 24-h pH monitoring was carried out.
The PPGAP was significantly longer (5 (3, 5) cm vs. 2 (1, 2) cm) and the lowest pH (1.1 (0.8, 1.5) vs. 1.6 (1.4, 1.9)) was significantly lower in patients with short-segment BE than in healthy individuals. The PPGAP started to appear proximally from the gastroesophageal pH step-up point to the esophageal lumen. The acidity of the PPGAP was higher in the distal segment than in the proximal segment. In short-segment BE patients, there were significant correlations between the acidity and the appearance time and length of the PPGAP. The length and acidity of the PPGAP were positively associated with gastroesophageal acid reflux episodes. The acidity of the PPGAP was associated with the DeMeester scores, the GerdQ scores, and the fasting intragastric pH.
In patients with short-segment BE, a PPGAP is commonly seen. Its length and acidity of PPGAP are associated with gastroesophageal acid reflux, the DeMeester score, and the GerdQ score in patients with short-segment BE.