Broeders JA, Draaisma WA, Bredenoord AJ, Smout AJ, Broeders IA, Gooszen HG.
Non-erosive (NERD) and erosive (ERD) gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) show similar severity of symptoms and impact on quality of life (QoL). Prospective data on long-term outcomes of antireflux surgery in NERD are lacking.
Subjective and objective 5-year outcomes of Nissen fundoplication were compared in 96 patients with NERD and 117 with ERD, operated on for proton-pump inhibitor (PPI)-refractory GORD.
Preoperative and postoperative QoL, PPI use, acid exposure time, symptom-reflux correlation, lower oesophageal sphincter (LOS) pressure and reoperation rates were similar in the two groups. At 5 years, relief of reflux symptoms was similar (NERD 89 per cent versus ERD 96 per cent), PPI use showed a similar reduction (82 to 21 per cent versus 81 to 15 per cent respectively; both P < 0.001) and QoL score improved equally (50.3 to 65.2 (P < 0.001) versus 52.0 to 60.7 (P = 0.016)). Five patients with NERD developed erosions after surgery; oesophagitis healed in 87 per cent of patients with ERD. Reduction in total acid exposure time (NERD 12.7 to 2.0 per cent versus ERD 13.8 to 2.9 per cent; both P < 0.001) and increase in LOS pressure (1.3 to 1.8 kPa versus 1.2 to 1.8 kPa; both P < 0.001) were similar. The reintervention rate was comparable (NERD 15 per cent versus ERD 12.8 per cent).
Patients with PPI-refractory NERD and ERD benefit equally from Nissen fundoplication. The absence of mucosal lesions on endoscopy in patients with proven PPI-refractory reflux disease is not a reason to refrain from antireflux surgery.