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South Med J. 2006 Jul;99(7):735-41; quiz 742, 752.

Management of gastroesophageal reflux disease.

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Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Gastroesophageal reflux disease is the most common and expensive digestive disease with complex and multi-factorial pathophysiologic mechanisms. Transient inappropriate relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter is the predominant mechanism in the majority of patients with mild to moderate disease. Hiatal hernias and a reduced lower esophageal sphincter pressure have a significant role in patients with moderate to severe disease. Typical manifestations of gastroesophageal reflux disease include heartburn, regurgitation, and dysphagia. Atypical symptoms, such as noncardiac chest pain, pulmonary manifestations of asthma, cough, aspiration pneumonia, or ENT manifestations of globus and laryngitis, can be seen in patients with or without typical symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease. Endoscopy and ambulatory pH tests are best to evaluate the anatomic and physiologic impact ofgastroesophageal reflux disease. Complications of chronic gastroesophageal reflux disease include peptic strictures and Barrett metaplasia. Barrett esophagus is a major risk factor for esophageal adenocarcinoma, and upper endoscopy with surveillance biopsies is recommended for patients with Barrett esophagus. Medical therapy with anti-secretory agents (H2 blockers and proton pump inhibitors) is effective for most patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease. Surgical fundoplications and endoscopic treatment modalities are mechanical treatment options for patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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