Introduction It is suggested that minimal change (grade M) esophagitis is a spectrum of gastric acid reflux disease. We evaluated the clinical significance of grade M esophagitis, including its subtypes (reddish change: MR and whitish change: MW), especially with attempt to pathological conditions in the stomach that relates to gastric acid secretion. Materials and Methods Using 241 subjects undergoing esophagogastroduodenoscopy for various indications, we investigated the association between grade M esophagitis with histological and serological severity of gastritis and endoscopic degree of atrophy. We also examined its association with ulcer diseases and various symptoms. Results When grade M cases were divided into MR and MW, all MR cases had MW in considerable degrees. Dyspeptic symptoms were more likely to be associated with H. pylori negative grade M cases, while presence of duodenal ulcer and its scar were associated with Helicobacter pylori-positive grade M cases. In all subjects, histological parameters, especially in the corpus, were lower in grade M cases compared to normal appearance. In grade M cases, degree of acute and chronic inflammation, and atrophy in corpus were lowest in cases that have grade MR. Grade M cases were also associated with higher pepsinogen I/II ratio and lower endoscopic atrophy. Conclusions Pathological conditions of the stomach relate to higher gastric acid secretion correlates with grade M esophagitis. In grade M cases, appearance of MR may reflect higher gastric acid secretion or severe acid reflux than cases that have grade MW only.
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