To evaluate the cause of chronic abdominal pain lasting more than 3 weeks in 153 patients aged 6 to 18 years (mean, 9.9 years) who had undergone endoscopy.
Those patients with peptic esophagitis as the cause of their chronic pain were treated with high-dose ranitidine hydrochloride, followed by the proton-pump inhibitor, omeprazole, for those who did not respond to a histamine2-receptor antagonist.
Eighty-four percent of patients had peptic esophagitis, 3% had Helicobacater pylori gastritis, and 3% had ulcer disease. Seventy percent of the patients with peptic esophagitis responded to an 8-week course of high-dose ranitidine hydrochloride (4 mg/kg per dose, twice a day or three times a day). Of the 30% of patients who failed to respond to ranitidine therapy, 87% responded to an 8-week course of omeprazole (20 mg/d). The grade of esophagitis at initial endoscopy was a predictive factor for response to ranitidine therapy. Ninety percent of patients with grade 1 esophagitis responded to ranitidine therapy vs only 43% of those with grade 3 or 4 esophagitis. Only five patients (4%) failed to respond to both therapies; three of these subsequently underwent Nissen fundoplications. There were no side effects of either ranitidine or omeprazole therapy.
These findings indicate that (1) peptic esophagitis was a common cause of chronic abdominal pain in pediatric patients and (2) omeprazole was effective in the treatment of esophagitis in children and adolescents that was resistant to high-dose histamine2receptor antagonists.(Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1995;149:267-271)