Indexed on: 07 May '09Published on: 07 May '09Published in: Journal of Perinatology
A global evidence-based consensus has defined gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) as 'a condition, which develops when the reflux of stomach contents causes troublesome symptoms and/or complications.' The manifestations of GERD can be divided into esophageal and extraesophageal syndromes, and include vomiting, poor weight gain, dysphagia, abdominal or substernal/retrosternal pain, esophagitis and respiratory disorders. The extraesophageal syndromes have been divided into established and proposed associations: established would include cough, laryngitis, asthma and dental erosion ascribable to reflux, whereas proposed associations would include pharyngitis, sinusitis, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and recurrent otitis media. Uninvestigated patients with esophageal symptoms without evidence of esophageal injury would be considered to have asymptomatic esophageal syndromes, whereas those with demonstrable injury are considered to have esophageal syndromes with esophageal injury. Therefore, this allows symptoms to define the disease but permits further characterization if mucosal injury is found. Within the syndromes with associated injury are reflux esophagitis, stricture, Barrett's esophagitis and adenocarcinoma. This review will address definitions of GER and GERD-associated symptoms and treatment options.