While diagnostic overlap exists between gastroesophageal reflux disease and eosinophilic esophagitis especially on histological findings, therapeutic approaches for the two disease entities are very different. Recently, anti-inflammatory treatment, in addition to acid suppressants, has been investigated for gastroesophageal reflux disease. This study investigated whether the incidence of endoscopic erosive esophagitis was lower in recipients of long-term leukotriene receptor antagonist (LTRA) treatment. This retrospective comparative study included 207 recipients of an LTRA and an equal number of controls who underwent screening upper endoscopic examination. Twenty-two (10.6%) and 51 (24.6%) cases of erosive esophagitis were detected in the LTRA and control groups, respectively (P < 0.001). A significantly higher incidence of minimal change esophagitis was also found in the controls compared with the LTRA group (14.5% vs. 2.4%, P < 0.001). On multivariate analysis, LTRA treatment was significantly and inversely associated with erosive esophagitis (odds ratio [OR], 0.25; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.13 to 0.46). Within the LTRA treatment group, an increased risk of erosive esophagitis was strongly associated with the presence of hiatal hernia (OR, 5.89; 95% CI, 2.20-15.73, P < 0.001) and short duration of LTRA treatment (OR, 0.64; 95% CI, 0.37-0.89, P= 0.022). In conclusion, this preliminary retrospective analysis demonstrated that patients who underwent long-term treatment with a LTRA had low incidence of endoscopic minimal change esophagitis.
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