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Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology
Volume 25, Issue 1, Pages 35-38

What Is Nonacid Reflux Disease?

Martin A Storr

University of Calgary Medical Clinic, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Received 29 April 2010; Accepted 27 May 2010

Copyright © 2011 Canadian Association of Gastroenterology. This open-access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (CC BY-NC) (, which permits reuse, distribution, and reproduction of the article, provided that the original work is properly cited and the reuse is restricted to noncommercial purposes.


Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are the gold standard treatment for gastroesophageal reflux disease. In clinical practice, failure of PPIs occurs frequently, and may affect up to 30% of patients in a typical gastroenterology practice. Multichannel impedance monitoring combined with pH monitoring helps to detect nonacid reflux, and if symptoms correlate with these nonacid reflux episodes, nonacid reflux disease can be diagnosed. In contrast to PPIs, reflux inhibitors target transient lower esophageal sphincter relaxations, which are involved in the pathophysiology of reflux disease and may be the appropriate future treatment for nonacid reflux disease. The present article discusses the current understanding of nonacid reflux disease, its diagnosis and treatment.