Gut Liver.  2010 Sep;4(3):320-325.

Halimeter ppb Levels as the Predictor of Erosive Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

  • 1Department of Gastroenterology, Gachon Graduate School of Medicine, Incheon, Korea.
  • 2Department of Gastroenterology, Seoul St. Mary Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 3Department of Gastroenterology, Pochun Joongmoon Graduate School of Medicine, Seongnam, Korea.


In a previous issue published in Gut and Liver, we found that erosive changes in the esophagogastroduodenal mucosa were strongly correlated with increased levels of volatile sulfur-containing compounds (VSC), suggesting that halitosis could be a symptom reflecting the erosive status of the upper gut mucosa. Together with other studies showing a possible association between halitosis and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), under the premise that halitosis could be one of extraesophageal manifestations of erosive GERD (ERD), we investigated the significance of Halimeter ppb levels on ERD compared to non-erosive gastroesophageal reflux disease (NERD).
Subjects were assigned to the NERD group if there was no evidence of esophageal erosive changes on endoscopy, despite reflux symptoms, and to the ERD group if they had GERD A, B, C, or D (according to the Los Angeles classification). The VSC levels were measured in all patients with either a Halimeter (before endoscopy) or by gas chromatography of the gastric juices aspirated during endoscopy.
The VSC level differed significantly between the NERD and ERD groups (p<0.0001), suggesting that this can be used to discriminate between NERD and ERD. However, the VSC level did not differ significantly with the severity of GERD. Even though hiatal hernia and a body mass index of >24 kg/m2 was significantly associated with ERD, there was no correlation with Halimeter ppb levels. Minimal-change lesions exhibited the highest VSC levels, signifying that minimal change lesions can be classified as ERD based on our finding that halimeter ppb levels were descrimitive of erosive change.
Erosive changes in the esophageal mucosa were strongly associated with VSC levels, supporting the hypothesis that halitosis can be a potential biomarker for the discrimination between ERD and NERD, reflecting the presence of erosive change in the lower esophagogastric junction.


Volatile sulfur compound; H2S; Halitosis; Gastroesophageal reflux disease; Nonerosive gastroesophageal reflux disease; Hiatal hernia; Body mass index
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