A primary care approach to pediatric gastroesophageal reflux.
Activities of Daily Living
Quality of Life
Surveys and Questionnaires
Gastroesophageal reflux is a common problem that occurs in the pediatric population. Gastroesophageal reflux refers to the retrograde passage of gastric contents into the esophagus. Current thinking implicates transient lower esophageal sphincter relaxations as a major cause for reflux. Infants generally present with symptoms of regurgitation, whereas symptoms of esophagitis are more common in older children. When there are dangerous consequences secondary to gastroesophageal reflux, it is termed gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). GERD has been shown to manifest with respiratory symptoms and a pathologic process. A variety of diagnostic procedures are available for the assessment of GERD which include barium swallow, pH probe, scintigraphy, and endoscopy with esophageal biopsy. Medical management of GERD primarily involves prokinetic agents and acid suppression therapy. Surgical therapy, albeit less common, now still has its role in the treatment of GERD.