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Gastroesophageal reflux disease in adults: pathophysiology, diagnosis, and management

, : Gastroesophageal reflux disease in adults: pathophysiology, diagnosis, and management. Journal of Family Practice 35(6): 673-681

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) refers to symptoms or tissue damage that result from gastroesophageal reflux. Reflux esophagitis is a subset of GERD and implies the presence of esophageal inflammation, ie, esophageal erosions that are visible endoscopically, or nonerosive inflammation that can be documented by biopsies. Heartburn is the most common and specific symptom of GERD. In some patients, chest pain or respiratory symptoms may be the only presenting signs. In patients aged < 50 years with uncomplicated GERD, empiric therapy (typically with antacids or an H2-receptor antagonist) is appropriate. For older patients, those with complications, and those whose symptoms do not respond to empiric therapy, endoscopic evaluation is indicated. Many patients will improve with standard twice-daily dosing of an H2-receptor antagonist. However, GERD is generally more resistant to antisecretory pharmacologic therapy than is peptic ulcer disease. Those patients who fail to respond to standard dosing of an H2-receptor antagonist may get relief from high-dose H2-receptor antagonists or omeprazole therapy.


PMID: 1453152

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