Author(s): Moskovitz M, Fadden R, Min T, Jansma D, Gavaler J
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Abstract Patients with large diaphragmatic hiatal hernias occasionally manifest severe iron deficiency anemia. The etiology is believed to be that of small erosions at the waist of the hernia which bleed slowly. Our study attempts to determine the incidence of this condition in clinical practice, and whether acid plays a role in the pathophysiology. Sixteen such patients were identified prospectively in a series of 5219 consecutive patients (0.31\%) accrued over a 5-yr interval. Anemia was the presenting feature, rather than symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease. The erosions were endoscopically identified and biopsied. Anemia was treated and recurrence was prevented for a mean of 24.6 months with long-term iron replacement. Of eight patients treated with iron alone, four were willing to undergo follow-up endoscopy. Of these four, none demonstrated healing. Three of these nonhealers and eight additional patients were treated with both iron and H2 antagonists. Thus, 11 patients were treated with H2 antagonists and iron, whereas four patients were treated with iron alone. At 6 wk, reendoscopy showed healing of the erosions in seven of 11 patients on H2 antagonists, but in none of those treated with iron alone (p less than 0.05). The anemia was corrected in all patients with iron therapy. We conclude that 1) gastric acid appears to have some role in the pathogenesis of this lesion; 2) short-term therapy with H2-receptor antagonists promote healing of the erosions; and 3) long-term iron therapy alone is adequate for initial and maintenance therapy of the anemia.
This article was published in Am J Gastroenterol
and referenced in Journal of Hepatology and Gastrointestinal disorders