Only limited and controversial information exists regarding the histologic effect of successful antireflux surgery on esophageal mucosa and its clinical significance.
Design and Settings
A randomized, blinded follow-up study conducted in a university hospital between January 1, 1992, and December 31, 1997, with a mean follow-up of 8 months.
Forty patients with severe symptomatic gastroesophageal reflux disease (24 men and 16 women; mean age, 50 years).
Main Outcome Measures
Microscopic signs and severity of esophagitis analyzed by 2 blinded histopathologists.
Histopathologist 1 interpreted 22 (69%) of 32 postoperative biopsy specimens as normal; 7 (22%), as showing mild changes; 1 (3%), moderate changes; and 2 (6%), severe changes of reflux esophagitis. Histopathologist 2 interpreted 25 (78%) of 32 postoperative biopsy specimens as normal (P = .001); 1 (3%), as showing mild changes (P
= .003); 4 (13%), moderate changes; and 2 (6%), severe changes. Between histopathologist 1 (90.6%) and histopathologist 2 (81%), the absence of esophageal mucosal inflammation correlated best with normalized pH monitoring.
These findings suggest that, if other findings such as those from fundic wrap at endoscopy and 24-hour pH monitoring are normal, the clinical significance of routine esophageal histologic examination after successful fundoplication is limited.