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AGA releases evidence-based GERD guidelines
Date:10/21/2008

Bethesda, MD (Oct. 21, 2008) Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is one of the most common gastrointestinal conditions seen in GI and primary care clinics, however physicians who treat the disease primarily rely on empirical trials of medications and their own observations and experience to manage their patients. Therefore, the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Institute has published evidence-based guidelines for the management and treatment of suspected GERD. The guidelines, which are the first produced through AGA's innovative guideline development process, are published in Gastroenterology, the official journal of the AGA Institute.

"There are many methods physicians are using to treat their patients with GERD, without knowing which is the best one," according to John I. Allen, MD, AGAF, chair, AGA Institute Clinical Practice and Quality Management Committee. "The AGA Institute developed this medical position statement on GERD to encapsulate the major management issues leading to consultations for the treatment of the disease to help guide physicians in treating their patients."

According to the authors, high-quality clinical trials for GERD management strategies do not exist. The majority of randomized controlled clinical trials are for pharmacologic therapies for esophageal GERD syndromes, especially acute trials for healing esophagitis. Therefore, many of the highest-level evidence-based recommendations in the guideline are for the acute treatment of heartburn or esophagitis. In developing the guidelines, the authors used the Montreal consensus definition for GERD, "a condition which develops when the reflux of stomach contents causes troublesome symptoms and/or complications." Troublesome symptoms are those that adversely affect an individual's well-being.

"As we found in our research, much of the current management of patients with GERD is based on experiences from physicians, uncontrolled trials and
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Contact: Aimee Frank
media@gastro.org
301-941-2620
American Gastroenterological Association
Source:Eurekalert

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