What to Do About Bile Reflux Gastritis?

A recent review (ME McCabe, CK Dilly. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2018; 16: 1389-92) provides useful information on bile reflux gastritis.

The authors note that bile reflux gastritis is “increasingly found in individuals without prior gastric surgery, a problem termed ‘primary biliary reflux.'”

Key points:

  • Most often bile reflux gastritis occurs due to prior surgery affecting pylorus, dysmotility, after cholecystectomy (due to loss of bile reservoir), and after biliary sphincterotomy (due to increased biliary flow).
  • Suggested treatments (Figure 5) -are limited by lack of evidence but the following are recommended by the authors: remove offending medications (eg. agents that affect peristalsis) –>proton pump inhibitors –>ursodeoxycholic acid –>sucralfate –>combination therapy –>surgical diversion of bile (generally reserved in those with surgically-induced bile reflux)