A randomized placebo-controlled N-of-1 trial: the effect of proton pump inhibitor in the management of gastroesophageal reflux disease
Background. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is the most frequent chronic gastrointestinal disorder. It is defined as a condition developed when the reflux of gastric contents causes troublesome symptoms (heartburn and regurgitation). This requires adequate treatment since it can lead to long-term complications including esophagus adenocarcinoma. Proton pump inhibitors (PPI) are generally used to treat GERD due to their high-security profile and efficiency on most patients. However, recurrent reflux despite initial treatment is frequent. N-of-1 trial is a study that allows the identification of the best treatment for each patient. The objective of this study is to compare the efficacy of standard dose with double dosage of esomeprazole, to improve the GERD symptoms in a single patient. Methods. A single-patient trial, placebo-controlled, randomized, double-blind, was carried out from September 25th, 2012, to April 26th, 2013. It included one outpatient at the gastroenterology service in a fourth-level hospital, diagnosed with nonerosive reflux disease (NERD). Yet, his symptoms were heartburn and reflux, and his endoscopic results were normal esophageal mucosa, without hiatal hernia, though pathological pH values. A no-obese male without any tobacco or alcohol usage received esomeprazole 40 mg/day and 40 mg/bid for 24 weeks. A standardized gastroesophageal reflux disease questionnaire (GerdQ) was used weekly to evaluate symptom frequency and severity. The consumption of 90% of the capsules was considered as an adequate treatment adherence. D’agostino–Pearson and Wilcoxon test were used to determine normal or nonnormal distribution and compare both treatments, respectively, both with a significant statistical difference of p<0.05. Results. The patient completed the study with 96% of adherence. The double dosage of esomeprazole did not improve the control of symptoms compared with the standard dosage. Mean symptomatic score was 9.5±0.5 and 10.2±0.6 for each treatment, respectively (p>0.05). Conclusion. There was no significant improvement in the patient GERD symptoms increasing the dose of oral esomeprazole during the 6 months of study. N-of-1 trials in chronic pathologies including GERD are recommended due to their potential value as systematic methods that evaluate therapies without strong scientific evidence.
Acid control; Esomeprazole; Gastroesophageal reflux
Sierra-Arango F, Castaño DM, Forero JD, Pérez-Riveros ED, Duarte GA, Botero ML, et al. A randomized placebo-controlled N-of-1 trial: the effect of proton pump inhibitor in the management of gastroesophageal reflux disease. Can J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2019 Dec 18;2019:3926051.
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