Omeprazole Treatment of Chronic
Erosive Esophagitis in Children

Omeprazole Treatment of Chronic Erosive Esophagitis in Children

OBJECTIVES: To determine the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of omeprazole in children and to determine the doses required to heal chronic, severe esophagitis.

STUDY DESIGN: Open multicenter study in children aged 1 to 16 years with erosive reflux esophagitis. The healing dose of omeprazole used was that with which the duration of acid reflux was <6% of a 24-hour intraesophageal pH study. Follow-up endoscopy was performed after 3 months of treatment with the healing dose.

RESULTS: At entry, two thirds of 57 patients who completed the study had esophagitis grade 3 or 4 (scale 0-4); some 50% had neurologic impairment or repaired esophageal atresia. Of the 57 patients, 54 healed; 3 did not heal and left the study, and 3 healed with a second course. Doses required for healing were 0.7 to 3.5 mg/kg/d: 0.7 mg/kg/d in 44% of patients and 1.4 mg/kg/d in another 28%. Healing dose correlated with grade of esophagitis but not with age or underlying disease. Reflux symptoms improved dramatically in almost all of the 57 patients, including the unhealed patients.

CONCLUSIONS: Omeprazole is well tolerated, highly effective, and safe for treatment of erosive esophagitis and symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux in children, including children in whom anti-reflux surgery or other medical therapy has failed. On a per-kilogram basis, the doses of omeprazole required to heal erosive esophagitis are much greater than those required for adults.

Division of Gastroenterology, B.C. Children's Hospital, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Hassall E1, Israel D, Shepherd R, Radke M, Dalväg A, Sköld B, Junghard O, Lundborg P.