This paper aims to review the definition and diagnostic criteria for reflux hypersensitivity and comment on the present and future management of this condition.
In 2016, the Rome IV criteria redefined reflux hypersensitivity as characterized by typical reflux symptoms, absence of endoscopic mucosal disease, absence of pathologic gastroesophageal reflux, and positive symptom correlation between reflux and heartburn episodes. Though uncertain, TPRV1 receptors have been implicated in the pathophysiology of reflux hypersensitivity. Recent studies have shown neuromodulators like SSRIs, SNRIs, and TCAs may be the future of managing this condition. With the release of the Rome IV criteria and availability of continuous pH monitoring, the diagnosis of reflux hypersensitivity has become more streamlined. Though there is no definitive therapy for reflux hypersensitivity, several anti-secretory agents and neuromodulators have shown some efficacy in therapeutic trials. The lack of large-scale, randomized controlled trials, however, reinforces the need for further research into the pharmacotherapy of reflux hypersensitivity.