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Trends in the management of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease.
  1. J. M. Lee,
  2. C. A. O'Morain
  1. Department of Gastroenterology, Meath Hospital, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland.


    Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease is common, with up to 10% of the general population experiencing heartburn on a daily basis. It is a chronic condition and follow-up studies indicate the presence of symptoms at least 20 years after initial diagnosis. In addition to lifestyle modifications, management usually involves the use of an acid suppressant from the H2-receptor antagonist or proton pump inhibitor groups or a prokinetic agent at some stage. In terms of initial symptom resolution and mucosal healing the proton pump inhibitors are consistently superior to the other available agents. However, while it is possible to keep the majority of patients in remission while taking medications, almost all patients have a recurrence of symptoms within six months of stopping medications. The introduction of laparoscopic fundoplication has produced promising initial results but the long-term benefits of this procedure remain to be established. The role of Helicobacter pylori eradication in the management of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease needs further evaluation.

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