Brazilian consensus on gastroesophageal reflux disease: Proposals for assessment, classification, and management
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The Brazilian Consensus on Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease considers gastroesophageal reflux disease to be a chronic disorder related to the retrograde flow of gastroduodenal contents into the esophagus and/or adjacent organs, resulting in a variable spectrum of symptoms, with or without tissue damage. Considering the limitations of classifications currently in use, a new classification is proposed that combines three criteria - clinical, endoscopic, and pH-metric - providing a comprehensive and more complete characterization of the disease. The diagnosis begins with the presence of heartburn, acid regurgitation, and alarm manifestations (dysphagia, odynophagia, weight loss, GI bleeding, nausea and/or vomiting, and family history of cancer). Also, atypical esophageal, pulmonary, otorhinolaryngological, and oral symptoms may occur. Endoscopy is the first approach, particularly in patients over 40 yr of age and in those with alarm symptoms. Other exams are considered in particular cases, such as contrast radiological examination, scyntigraphy, manometry, and prolonged pH measurement. The clinical treatment encompasses behavioral modifications in lifestyle and pharmacological measures. Proton pump inhibitors in manufacturers' recommended doses are indicated, with doubling of the dose in more severe cases of esophagitis. The minimum time of administration is 6 wk. Patients who do not respond to medical treatment, including those with atypical manifestations, should be considered for surgical treatment. Of the complications of gastroesophageal reflux disease, Barrett's esophagus presents a potential development of adenocarcinoma; biopsies should be performed, independent of Barrett's esophagus extent or location. In this regard the designation short Barrett's is not important in terms of management and prognosis. © 2002 by Am. Coll. of Gastroenterology.