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Original article
Randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot trial of omeprazole in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
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  • Published on:
    AIRWAY Reflux in IPF
    • Ahmed Fahim, Consultant Respiratory Physician New Cross Hospital, Wolverhampton.
    • Other Contributors:
      • Simon Hart, Consultant Respiratory Physician and Honorary Clincial Lecturer
      • Alyn Morice, Professor of Respiratory Medicine

    We read with interest this article by Dutta et al evaluating the feasibility of proton pump inhibitor (PPI) therapy in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF). We congratulate the authors for successfully conducting this first ever double blind, randomised, placebo-controlled pilot trial of PPI in IPF despite the challenges to the recruitment in this disease with high prevalence of gastroesophageal reflux. Furthermore, we agree with the authors that cough is a neglected but important outcome measure in IPF trials and they should be praised for pursuing this.
    The role of gastro-oesophageal reflux in IPF has long been debated and its prevalence has been evaluated in a number of studies (1,2). However, the value of anti-acid therapy in relation to clinically meaningful outcomes has lacked true prospective randomised and controlled evaluation in previous trials/analyses. Furthermore, a pooled analysis (3) of 3 randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of Pirfenidone in IPF showed no clinical benefit of antacid use in terms of disease progression, mortality or markers of functional assessment with a signal towards increased infection rate in those with advanced disease and receiving antacids.
    Though airway reflux has been implicated in the exacerbation and pathophysiology of chronic cough in IPF, the aspect of oesophageal dysmotility/ non-acid reflux has largely been ignored. Dutta and colleagues had a small fraction of patients completing oesophageal manometry in the trial (...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.