Background/Aim: We evaluated the efficacy of vonoprazan (VPZ), a novel potassium-competitive acid blocker, in patients with proton pump inhibitor (PPI)-refractory gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), exhibiting continued pathological esophageal acid exposure (EAE). Methods: Despite ≥8 weeks of appropriate PPI therapy, patients with -persistent reflux symptoms and pathological EAE times (EAETs ≥4%) were invited to switch to VPZ treatment. After an 8-week-course of once-daily VPZ (20 mg), multichannel intraluminal impedance-pH (MII-pH) monitoring was repeated to compare gastric acid exposure times (GAETs), EAETs, and other reflux parameters relative to the baseline values. Before each MII-pH study, reflux symptom severities were scored using the Gastrointestinal Symptom Rating Scale; erosive esophagitis and fasting plasma gastrin levels were also assessed. Results: From among the 124 patients undergoing MII-pH monitoring, 13 patients (median age, 69 years; females, 64%) were monitored at baseline (while on PPI therapy) and after VPZ therapy. The median GAET associated with VPZ treatment (23.8%) was less than that for PPI treatment (41.1%; p = 0.01), including both daytime and nighttime measurements. VPZ therapy resulted in better median EAET values (4.5%) than did PPI therapy (10.6%) during the 24-h monitoring period (p = 0.055). EAE normalization was achieved in 46% of VPZ-treated patients and was associated with complete gastric acid suppression (p = 0.005). After switching to VPZ, reflux symptoms (p < 0.01) and erosive esophagitis (p = 0.01) improved. Conclusion: In patients with PPI-refractory GERD, VPZ provides more potent gastric acid suppression, more effective EAE control, enhanced symptom improvement, and better esophagitis healing than PPIs.

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