What’s Going On in Patients with Reflux Who Fail Proton Pump Inhibitors

A recent prospective study (J Abdallah et al. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2019; 17: 1073-80) examined adults patients with documented reflux at baseline.  Patients who reported heartburn and/or regurgitation at least twice a week for 3 months (n=16) despite proton pump inhibitor (PPI) therapy were considered PPI failures. Those (n=13) who responded to standard dose PPI for at least 4 weeks were in the “PPI success” group.

Standard PPI dosing in this study:

  • Omeprazole 20 mg per day
  • Esomeprazole 40 mg per day
  • Pantoprazole 40 mg per day

Methods: Both groups (PPI Failure group, PPI Success group) underwent EGD and pH-MII studies. Abnormal acid exposure was considered if pH <4 was present for >4.2%.

Key findings:

  • 12 patients (75%) in the PPI failure group had either functional heartburn or reflux hypersensitivity
  • 4 patients in both groups had abnormal pH test result.
  • There was no statistically significant differences in the number of reflux events, acid exposure or nonacid reflux parameters between patients who failed or those who were successfully treated with PPIs.
  • In the PPI failure group: 25% had persistent GERD, 12.% had overlap with reflux hypersensitivity, and 62.5% had overlap with functional heartburn

My take: The difference between PPI failure and PPI success largely is due to the overlapping presence of functional esophageal disorders.

Related blog posts:

Royal Palace, Madrid

NAFLD Outcomes After Bariatric Surgery

A recent systematic review and meta-analysis (Y Lee, et al. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2019; 17: 1040-60) included 32 cohort studies with 3093 liver biopsy specimens from patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

Key findings:

  • Bariatric surgery resulted in a biopsy-confirmed resolution of steatosis in 66%, inflammation in 50%, ballooning degeneration in 76%, and fibrosis in 40%.
  • Bariatric surgery resulted in worsening features of NAFLD in 12%.
  • The authors note that Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass (RYGB) “showed greater reduction of liver side effects and higher: resolution of NAFLD.”
  • Jejejnoileal bypass (JIB) and biliopancreatic diversion (BPD) “both have been associated with higher liver function morbidity.”
  • The overall GRADE quality of evidence was considered very low.

My take: Though better studies are needed, the majority of patients’ livers appear to benefit from bariatric surgery.

Related blog posts:

Mucosal Eosinophilia –A Marker for Nonceliac Wheat Sensitivity?

A recent prospective study (A Carrocio et al. Gastroenterol 2019; 17: 682-90) with 78 patients who were diagnosed with “nonceliac gluten or wheat sensitivity” (NCGWS) by double-blind challenge had duodenal and rectal biopsies collected and analyzed. More commonly NCGWS is referred to as NCGS.

Key findings:

  • Duodenal tissues from patients with NCGWS had hihger numbers of eosinophils than non-NCGWS controls as did rectal mucosa.  Other elevated markers included epithelial CD3+ T cells, and lamina proppria CD45+ cells.
  • Rectal mean eosinophil infiltrations was more than 2.5-fold the upper limit of normal and it was almost 2-fold increased in the duodenum.
  • Sensitivity and specificity of rectal eosionphilia, defined by >9 eos in the lamina propria) was 94% and 70% respectively.

My take: This study is intriguing but needs more confirmation. Overall, it appears that the frequency of NCGS is very low.

Related blog posts:

Synagogue of Santa María la Blanca. Toledo Spain

Practice Tips for New IBD Therapies

A recent review provides some helpful advice: “A Practical Guide to the Safety and Monitoring of New IBD Therapies” (B Click, M Regueiro. Inflamm Bowel Dis 209; 25: 831-42).

This review discusses infection risk, malignancy risk, immunologic issues and other complications.

In terms of infection risk assessment, the authors describe a pyramid in which they stratify the risks of medications.  The safest to least safe in their assessment: vedolizumab –>ustekinumab–>anti-TNF monotherapy–>thiopurine or tofacintinib–>thiopurine/anti-TNF combination–>steroids.

Their Tables:

  • Table 1 lists potential infections and vaccination recommendations
  • Table 2 suggests management of active infections by IBD Medication Class
    • For anti-TNF agents and for IL12/23 agents: the authors recommend continuation of agent if viral (eg EBV, VZV, HSV) or bacterial (eg. Strep/Staph)/C difficile infections (unless severe) but holding for opportunistic infections.
    • For integrin agents, the authors recommend continuation of medications in the face of infections except “consider holding dose” during active C difficile infection
    • For JAK agents, the authors recommend stopping during viral infections and with opportunistic infections.  They recommend continuing with bacterial infections (hold if severe) and continuing with C difficile infection
  • Table 3 suggests management in the setting of active malignancy
    • Table 4 lists recommendations in the setting of immunologic complications.  Theses categories include antidrug antibodies,lupus-like reactions, demyelinating conditions, and psoriasis.
    • One of the points alluding to in this chart is that addition of methotrexate may help in patients receiving anti-TNF therapy with psoriasis.
    • No psoriatic reactions have been reported with vedolizumab, ustekinumab or tofacitinib; ustekinumab is FDA-approved for use in psoriasis and tofacitinib is FDA-approved for psoriatic arthritis.
  • Table 5 suggests recommendations in the setting of altered liver enzymes and altered lipids/creatine kinase

Related posts: