Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease is a common problem that brings large numbers of patients to physicians every day. It lowers the quality of life of affected individuals and exposes them to potentially dangerous complications. An increasing awareness exists among patients, doctors and authorities about the relevance of this pathological condition. Despite an improved understanding of many aspects of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, clinical management of several cases is still unsatisfactory. Atypical cases with extra-oesophageal manifestations often defy diagnosis. Even typical symptoms are often misunderstood and considered to be part of the poorly defined area of dyspepsia by both patients and doctors. As a consequence, management remains uncertain for too many cases. If correctly diagnosed, gastro-oesophageal reflux disease can be efficaciously treated with proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). Although standard doses of PPIs can heal mucosal lesions and provide symptom relief in the vast majority of oesophagitis patients, non-oesophagitis symptomatic individuals and those with extra-oesophageal manifestations may fail to respond to similar regimens. Antireflux surgery is a possible alternative to PPI therapy, but it is hampered by complications in a substantial percentage of cases and by sporadic casualties even when performed by experienced surgeons. The high prevalence of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease in the general population and the relatively high management costs should prompt any doctor to seek the best possible therapeutic approach.

Unsolved problems in the management of patients with gastro-oesophageal reflux disease

DE GIORGIO, Roberto;
2003

Abstract

Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease is a common problem that brings large numbers of patients to physicians every day. It lowers the quality of life of affected individuals and exposes them to potentially dangerous complications. An increasing awareness exists among patients, doctors and authorities about the relevance of this pathological condition. Despite an improved understanding of many aspects of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, clinical management of several cases is still unsatisfactory. Atypical cases with extra-oesophageal manifestations often defy diagnosis. Even typical symptoms are often misunderstood and considered to be part of the poorly defined area of dyspepsia by both patients and doctors. As a consequence, management remains uncertain for too many cases. If correctly diagnosed, gastro-oesophageal reflux disease can be efficaciously treated with proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). Although standard doses of PPIs can heal mucosal lesions and provide symptom relief in the vast majority of oesophagitis patients, non-oesophagitis symptomatic individuals and those with extra-oesophageal manifestations may fail to respond to similar regimens. Antireflux surgery is a possible alternative to PPI therapy, but it is hampered by complications in a substantial percentage of cases and by sporadic casualties even when performed by experienced surgeons. The high prevalence of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease in the general population and the relatively high management costs should prompt any doctor to seek the best possible therapeutic approach.
Stanghellini, V; Cogliandro, R; Cogliandro, L; DE GIORGIO, Roberto; Barbara, G; Corinaldesi, R.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11392/2375093
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