2013 Volume 52 Issue 11 Pages 1165-1171
Objective To investigate the influence of acid reflux on chest pain and ischemic events and the effects of cardiac drugs on acid reflux in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) and refractory chest pain.
Methods Simultaneous 24-hour esophageal pH monitoring and 24-hour continuous electrocardiogram (ECG) (Holter) results were obtained for 64 patients. Ischemic events and cardiac drug prescriptions were compared between the patients with and without gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Patients fulfilling the GERD criteria received 14-day therapy with omeprazole at a dose of 20 mg bid. The results of the 24-hour pH monitoring, Holter and the SF-36 questionnaire were compared before treatment and again after two weeks of therapy.
Results GERD was identified in 38 (69%) patients, with 49% of all chest pain occurring in association with acid reflux. A higher incidence (p=0.033) and longer duration (p=0.040) of ischemic events were observed in the GERD (+) patients. More frequent combined use of cardiac drugs was found in the GERD (+) patients. However, fewer ischemic events and greater total SF-36 survey scores were noted after PPI therapy in the GERD (+) patients.
Conclusion Acid reflux is common in patients with CAD and refractory chest pain. Refractory chest pain in patients with CAD can be partially noncardiac chest pain (NCCP) secondary to acid reflux. The combined use of common cardiac drugs may predispose or aggravate GERD. Short-term proton pump inhibitor (PPI) therapy not only restores a normal esophageal pH, but also significantly improves the general health-related quality of life (HRQL) of patients.