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Similar symptom patterns in gastroesophageal reflux patients with and without hiatal hernia


Dr Stavros A. Antoniou, MD, Souniou 11, 19001 Keratea Attikis, 19001 Athens, Greece. Email:


Gastroesophageal reflux disease is a common clinical entity in Western societies. Its association with hiatal hernia has been well documented; however, the comparative clinical profile of patients in the presence or absence of hiatal hernia remains mostly unknown. The aim of the present study was to delineate and compare symptom, impedance, and manometric patterns of patients with and without hiatal hernia. A cumulative number of 120 patients with reflux disease were enrolled in the study. Quality of life score, demographic, symptom, manometric, and impedance data were prospectively collected. Data comparison was undertaken between patients with and without hiatal hernia. A P-value < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Patients with hiatal hernia tended to be older than patients without hernia (52.3 vs. 48.6 years, P < 0.05), whereas quality of life scores were slightly better for the former (97.0 vs. 88.2, P= 0.005). Regurgitation occurred more frequently in patients without hiatal hernia (78.3% vs. 93.9%, P < 0.05). Otherwise, no differences were found with regard to esophageal and extraesophageal symptoms. However, lower esophageal sphincter pressures (7.7 vs. 10.0 mmHg, P= 0.007) and more frequent reflux episodes (upright, 170 vs. 134, P= 0.01; supine, 41 vs. 24, P < 0.03) were documented for patients with hiatal hernia on manometric and impedance studies. Distinct functional characteristics in patients with and without hiatal hernia may suggest a tailored therapeutic management for these diverse patient groups.