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ABSTRACT: Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is the most common esophageal disease. Besides the typical presentation of heartburn and acid regurgitation, either alone or in combination, GERD can cause atypical symptoms. An estimated 20 to 60 percent of patients with GERD have head and neck symptoms without any appreciable heartburn. While the most common head and neck symptom is a globus sensation (a lump in the throat), the head and neck manifestations can be diverse and may be misleading in the initial work-up. Thus, a high index of suspicion is required. Laryngoscopy can confirm the diagnosis of laryngopharyngeal reflux. Erythema of the posterior larynx may be seen, and the true vocal cords may be edematous. Treatment should be initiated with a histamine H2 receptor blocker or proton pump inhibitor. Lifestyle changes are also beneficial. Untreated, GERD can lead to chronic laryngitis, dysphonia, chronic sore throat, chronic cough, constant throat clearing, granuloma of the true vocal cords and other problems.
Evaluation and Management of Dyspepsia - Article
ABSTRACT: Dyspepsia, often defined as chronic or recurrent discomfort centered in the upper abdomen, can be caused by a variety of conditions. Common etiologies include peptic ulcers and gastroesophageal reflux. Serious causes, such as gastric and pancreatic cancers, are rare but must also be considered. Symptoms of possible causes often overlap, which can make initial diagnosis difficult. In many patients, a definite cause is never established. The initial evaluation of patients with dyspepsia includes a thorough history and physical examination, with special attention given to elements that suggest the presence of serious disease. Endoscopy should be performed promptly in patients who have "alarm symptoms" such as melena or anorexia. Optimal management remains controversial in young patients who do not have alarm symptoms. Although management should be individualized, a cost-effective initial approach is to test for Helicobacter pylori and treat the infection if the test is positive. If the H. pylori test is negative, empiric therapy with a gastric acid suppressant or prokinetic agent is recommended. If symptoms persist or recur after six to eight weeks of empiric therapy, endoscopy should be performed.
GERD Treatment for Chronic Nonspecific Cough in Children and Adults - Cochrane for Clinicians
ABSTRACT: Initial evaluation of the patient with chronic cough (i.e., of more than eight weeks’ duration) should include a focused history and physical examination, and in most patients, chest radiography. Patients who are taking an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor should switch to a medication from another drug class. The most common causes of chronic cough in adults are upper airway cough syndrome, asthma, and gastroesophageal reflux disease, alone or in combination. If upper airway cough syndrome is suspected, a trial of a decongestant and a first-generation antihistamine is warranted. The diagnosis of asthma should be confirmed based on clinical response to empiric therapy with inhaled bronchodilators or corticosteroids. Empiric treatment for gastroesophageal reflux disease should be initiated in lieu of testing for patients with chronic cough and reflux symptoms. Patients should avoid exposure to cough-evoking irritants, such as cigarette smoke. Further testing, such as high-resolution computed tomography, and referral to a pulmonologist may be indicated if the cause of chronic cough is not identified. In children, a cough lasting longer than four weeks is considered chronic. The most common causes in children are respiratory tract infections, asthma, and gastroesophageal reflux disease. Evaluation of children with chronic cough should include chest radiography and spirometry.
ABSTRACT: Proton pump inhibitors effectively treat gastroesophageal reflux disease, erosive esophagitis, duodenal ulcers, and pathologic hypersecretory conditions. Proton pump inhibitors cause few adverse effects with short-term use; however, long-term use has been scrutinized for appropriateness, drug-drug interactions, and the potential for adverse effects (e.g., hip fractures, cardiac events, iron deficiency, Clostridium difficile infection, pneumonia). Adults 65 years and older are more vulnerable to these adverse effects because of the higher prevalence of chronic diseases in this population. Proton pump inhibitors administered for stress ulcer prophylaxis should be discontinued after the patient is discharged from the intensive care unit unless other indications exist.
Managing Chronic Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease - Implementing AHRQ Effective Health Care Reviews
ABSTRACT: Approximately 1 percent of primary care office visits are for chest pain, and 1.5 percent of these patients will have unstable angina or acute myocardial infarction. The initial goal in patients presenting with chest pain is to determine if the patient needs to be referred for further testing to rule in or out acute coronary syndrome and myocardial infarction. The physician should consider patient characteristics and risk factors to help determine initial risk. Twelve-lead electrocardiography is typically the test of choice when looking for ST segment changes, new-onset left bundle branch block, presence of Q waves, and new-onset T wave inversions. For persons in whom the suspicion for ischemia is lower, other diagnoses to consider include chest wall pain/costochondritis (localized pain reproducible by palpation), gastroesophageal reflux disease (burning retrosternal pain, acid regurgitation, and a sour or bitter taste in the mouth), and panic disorder/anxiety state. Other less common but important diagnostic considerations include pneumonia (fever, egophony, and dullness to percussion), heart failure, pulmonary embolism (consider using the Wells criteria), acute pericarditis, and acute thoracic aortic dissection (acute chest or back pain with a pulse differential in the upper extremities). Persons with a higher likelihood of acute coronary syndrome should be referred to the emergency department or hospital.
Common Questions About Barrett Esophagus - Article
ABSTRACT: Barrett esophagus is a precancerous metaplasia of the esophagus that is more common in patients with chronic reflux symptoms, although it also occurs in patients without symptomatic reflux. Other risk factors include smoking, male sex, obesity, white race, hiatal hernia, and increasing age (particularly older than 50 years). Although Barrett esophagus is a risk factor for esophageal adenocarcinoma, its management and the need for screening or surveillance endoscopy are debatable. The annual incidence of progression to esophageal cancer is 0.12% to 0.33%; progression is more common in patients with high-grade dysplasia and long-segment Barrett esophagus. Screening endoscopy should be considered for patients with multiple risk factors, and those who have lesions with high-grade dysplasia should undergo endoscopic mucosal resection or other endoscopic procedures to remove the lesions. Although the cost-effectiveness is questionable, patients with nondysplastic Barrett esophagus can be followed with endoscopic surveillance. Lowgrade dysplasia should be monitored or eradicated via endoscopy. Although there is no evidence that medical or surgical therapies to reduce acid reflux prevent neoplastic progression, proton pump inhibitors can be used to help control reflux symptoms.
AAP Releases Guideline for the Management of Gastroesophageal Reflux in Children - Practice Guidelines