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Approximately, 20% of patients with heartburn and normal endoscopic findings do not symptomatically improve on proton pump inhibitor (PPI) therapy making diagnosis and treatment uncertain. A biomarker distinguishing PPI-responsive from PPI-refractory heartburn is desirable. We performed a pilot study assessing whether carboxy(C)-terminal fragments (CTFs) of e-cadherin in esophageal biopsies or amino(N)-terminal fragments (NTFs) of e-cadherin in serum could serve this purpose. Twenty-nine patients with endoscopy-negative heartburn had esophageal biopsies for CTFs on Western blot and blood for serum NTFs on ELISA. All patients received dexlansoprazole 30 mg daily for 4 weeks, and heartburn was assessed by daily diary entry. Post-treatment blood samples were obtained for serum NTFs. A control group without GERD symptoms (n = 6) had biopsies for CTFs and a second control group (n = 20) blood serum for serum NTFs. Twenty-seven of 29 patients (93.1%) with endoscopy-negative heartburn, but 0 of 6 controls, were positive for CTFs. All patients and controls had measureable serum NTFs, but mean NTFs were significantly higher in those with PPI-responsive heartburn compared to those with PPI-refractory heartburn and controls. Following treatment, 24 of 29 (82.8) patients had relief of heartburn, which associated with a decline in mean NTFs compared to controls. NTFs in PPI-refractory patients (n = 5) were similar to controls before and after PPI therapy. When heartburn responds to PPI, elevated serum NTFs decline to normal. These data suggest that cleaved products of e-cadherin may serve as biomarkers of NERD. Further data are needed to assess and confirm this concept.

Citation

Biljana Jovov, Craig C Reed, Nicholas J Shaheen, Amy Pruitt, Kathleen Ferrell, Geraldine S Orlando, Zorka Djukic, Roy C Orlando. Fragments of e-Cadherin as Biomarkers of Non-erosive Reflux Disease. Digestive diseases and sciences. 2017 Oct 25


PMID: 29071486

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