Purpose: Patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease without esophagitis show varying responses to proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). The aim of this study was to objectively evaluate the effect of a new PPI, ilaprazole, on patients with heartburn but without reflux esophagitis. Materials and Methods: This prospective study was performed on 20 patients with heartburn but without reflux esophagitis. All patients underwent upper endoscopy and 24-hr combined multichannel intraluminal impedance and pH esophageal monitoring (MII-pH). They were then treated with ilaprazole (20 mg) once daily for 4 weeks. The GerdQ questionnaire, histologic findings, and inflammatory biomarkers were used for assessment before and after ilaprazole. Results: Among the 20 patients, 13 (65%) showed GerdQ score ≥8. Based on MII-pH results, patients were classified as true non-erosive reflux disease (n=2), hypersensitive esophagus (n=10), and functional heartburn (n=8). After treatment, patients showed a statistically significant improvement in GerdQ score (p<0.001). Among histopathologic findings, basal cell hyperplasia, papil-lary elongation, and infiltration of intraepithelial T lymphocytes improved significantly (p=0.008, p=0.021, and p=0.008; respec-tively). Expression of TNF-α, IL-8, TRPV1, and MCP-1 decreased marginally after treatment (p=0.049, p=0.046, p=0.045, and p=0.042; respectively). Conclusion: Daily ilaprazole (20 mg) is efficacious in improving symptom scores, histopathologic findings, and inflammatory biomarkers in patients with heartburn but no reflux esophagitis.
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