BACKGROUND:: The Los Angeles (LA) grade of reflux esophagitis (A to D) is assumed to reflect severity of the underlying gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Thus, LA-D esophagitis patients might be expected to have the most conditions predisposing to GERD (eg, obesity, hiatal hernia), and the highest frequency of GERD symptoms. GOALS:: The main goal of this study is to compare clinical features of patients with the most severe (LA-D) and mildest (LA-A) grades of esophagitis. STUDY:: For this comparative study, we searched our endoscopy database for patients diagnosed with LA-D or LA-A esophagitis, reviewed their endoscopic images, and reviewed medical records of the first 100 we confirmed to have LA-D or LA-A esophagitis. RESULTS:: Compared with LA-A patients, LA-D patients were older (mean age, 65±13.4 vs. 56±13.4 y; P<0.001), had lower body mass index (25.9±5.6 vs. 29.4±5.3; P<0.001), were more frequently hospitalized (70% vs. 3%; P<0.001), and in the intensive care unit (15% vs. 0%; P<0.001), and had significantly more serious cardiopulmonary disorders and gastrointestinal bleeding. Conversely, a GERD history was more common in LA-A than LA-D patients (67% vs. 45%; P=0.002). Hiatal hernia was more frequent in LA-A patients than LA-D patients, but not significantly (48% vs. 36%; P=0.09). CONCLUSIONS:: LA-D esophagitis primarily affects hospitalized, older, nonobese patients who often have serious comorbidities, and no history of GERD or hiatal hernia. In contrast, LA-A patients are generally younger, obese outpatients who often have a history of GERD and hiatal hernia without serious comorbidities. These profound differences between LA-A and LA-D patients suggest that factors other than typical GERD contribute to LA-D esophagitis pathogenesis.
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