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Introduction: Although gastroesophageal reflux disease is the main cause of noncardiac chest pain (NCCP), proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) benefit a minority of patients. Our prospective study evaluated the effect of PPI and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors on the different subtypes of NCCP characterized by impedance-pH monitoring.

Methods: All NCCP patients underwent impedance-pH monitoring and on the basis of the results, those with abnormal distal esophageal acid exposure received PPIs twice daily (group A), those with a positive symptom index for chest pain received citalopram 20 mg and PPI once daily (group B), and those with a negative symptom index for chest pain received citalopram 20 mg once daily (group C). Therapy was administered for 12 weeks and treatment success was defined as complete disappearance of chest pain.

Results: From March 2015 to March 2016, 63 patients were included (group A=9, group B=18, group C=36). After 12 weeks of therapy, complete resolution of chest pain was noted in 8/9 (88.9%) group A, 13/18 (72.2%) group B, and 24/36 (66.7%) group C patients.

Conclusion: Combined impedance-pH monitoring identifies different subtypes of NCCP patients who can receive tailored management. Targeted therapy with PPIs and/or citalopram offers complete symptom relief in the great majority of them.

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