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What is the significance of the Hill classification?

  • Brännström, Lisa1
  • Werner, Mårten1
  • Wallner, Bengt2
  • Franklin, Karl A2
  • Karling, Pontus1
  • 1 Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden. , (Sweden)
  • 2 Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Surgery, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden. , (Sweden)
Published Article
Diseases of the esophagus : official journal of the International Society for Diseases of the Esophagus
Publication Date
Sep 01, 2023
DOI: 10.1093/dote/doad004
PMID: 36744860


This study aimed to investigate the significance of Hill classification to predict esophagitis, Barrett's esophagus, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) symptomatology, and future prescriptions of proton pump inhibitors in clinical practice. A total of 922 patients (546 women and 376 men; mean age 54.3 [SD 18.4] years) who underwent gastroscopy between 2012 and 2015 were analyzed. Patient questionnaire regarding symptoms were compared with endoscopy findings. A medical chart review was done that focused on the prescription of PPIs, additional gastroscopies, and GERD surgery in a 3-year period before the index gastroscopy and in a 6-year period afterward. In patients naïve to PPI prescriptions (n = 466), Hill grade III was significantly associated with esophagitis (AOR 2.20; 95% CI 1.00-4.84) and > 2 PPI prescriptions 6 year after the index gastroscopy (AOR 1.95; 95% CI 1.01-3.75), whereas Hill grade IV was significantly associated with esophagitis (AOR 4.41; 95% CI 1.92-10.1), with Barrett's esophagus (AOR 12.7; 95% CI 1.45-112), with reported heartburn (AOR 2.28; 95% CI 1.10-4.74), and with >2 PPI prescriptions (AOR 2.16; 95% CI 1.02-4.55). In patients 'non-naïve' to PPI prescription (n = 556), only Hill grade IV was significantly associated with esophagitis, reported heartburn, and with >2 PPI prescriptions. The gastroscopic classification in Hill grades III and IV is important in clinical practice because they are associated with esophagitis, Barrett's esophagus, symptoms of GERD, and prescriptions of PPIs, whereas a differentiation between Hill grades I and II is not. © The Author(s) 2023. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of International Society for Diseases of the Esophagus. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: [email protected].

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