Gastro-esophageal reflux disease (summary)

Last revised by Craig Hacking on 2 Apr 2018
This is a basic article for medical students and other non-radiologists

Gastric-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a spectrum of disease that occurs when gastric acid refluxes into the lower esophagus

Reference article

This is a summary article; read more in our article on gastro-esophageal reflux disease.

  • anatomy
  • epidemiology
    • prevalence >10% in most regions
  • presentation
    • recurrent heartburn/reflux symptoms
  • pathophysiology
    • risk factors include obesity, smoking and alcohol consumption
    • GERD is a risk factor for Barretts esophagus and esophageal cancer
  • investigation
    • endoscopy is the key test in the assessment of GERD
    • there is no role for radiological imaging
  • treatment
    • lifestyle measures
    • anti-reflux medication

Endoscopy is the mainstay for investigation of GERD. Radiology does not have a part to play in the standard assessment of GERD.

CT is not helpful in the diagnosis of GERD although it may be used in the assessment of patients with chest and abdominal pain. A normal CT does not exclude all pathology.

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