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Gastroesophageal reflux in infancy and childhood.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Pediatric annals
Publication Date
Volume
35
Issue
4
Pages
259–266
Identifiers
PMID: 16637554
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

GER is a common reason for pediatric office visits and referrals to a pediatric gastroenterologist. This condition frequently is benign, and it is self-limited in most infants. Although a thorough history and complete physical examination usually are adequate to diagnose GER, a high index of suspicion must be maintained for other diagnoses associated with recurrent emesis, including metabolic disorders, as well as for other gastrointestinal conditions, such as pyloric stenosis and abnormalities of intestinal rotation. Behavioral or lifestyle modification usually can be implemented empirically to diagnose and manage a suspected case of uncomplicated GER. When this fails, medical therapy can be initiated, employing either a step-up or step-down approach with a PPI or H2RA. With the proven efficacy of PPIs and their availability to children, medical treatment has become the mainstay of therapy in severely affected patients; nevertheless, anti-reflux surgery is still widely performed in children with GER. Pediatricians and other primary care providers often manage infants and children who have gastrointestinal complaints, prior to referral to a pediatric gastroenterologist. Hence, they have the responsibility to educate children and families about GER, its natural history, complications, and therapeutic options. A careful history and physical examination, informed use of diagnostic studies, and a consistent approach to medical treatment are important principles that are required to guarantee the success of GER management in infants and children.

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