Background:  Development of reflux oesophagitis after Helicobacter pylori eradication therapy has been reported, but the prognosis is not well known.

Aim:  To evaluate the prognosis of patients with reflux oesophagitis that developed after eradication therapy by long-term observation.

Methods:  Forty-five patients who developed reflux oesophagitis after successful H. pylori eradication therapy were followed up prospectively. All 45 patients were followed up by endoscopy more than 3 years after onset of reflux oesophagitis (3-year follow-up group) and nine were followed up more than 5 years after onset (5-year follow-up group). Endoscopic observations were performed yearly or when upper gastrointestinal symptoms recurred. Reflux oesophagitis was graded according to the Los Angeles Classification System. Presence of gastro-oesophageal reflux symptoms and medication of proton pump inhibitors, H2-blockers or prokinetics were investigated at final endoscopy.

Results:  All patients were classified as grade A or B at initial endoscopy. At final observation, the grade of reflux oesophagitis improved in 35/45 (78.8%) patients from the 3-year follow-up group and 7/9 (78.8%) patients from the 5-year follow-up group. Reflux oesophagitis progressed from grade A to B in only four (8.9%) patients from the 3-year follow-up group and in no patients in the 5-year follow-up group. No patient progressed to grade C or D. Gastro-oesophageal reflux symptoms were seen in 12 patients (26.7%) from the 3-year follow-up group and four patients (44.4%) from the 5-year follow-up group. Among them, medication was needed continuously in only six (13.3%) and two (22.2%) patients, respectively.

Conclusions:  Reflux oesophagitis, which develops after H. pylori eradication therapy, rarely becomes a long-term clinical problem among patients who complete therapy successfully.