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Gastroesophageal Reflex Disease (GERD) Referral Guidelines

Gastroesophageal Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

Age: Infancy to adolescence

Gastroesophageal reflux (GER), the retrograde passage of gastric contents into the esophagus, occurs physiologically in all infants multiple times every day. It is exemplified by the effortless regurgitation in normal infants, described as "happy spitters." It is referred to as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) if associated with bothersome symptoms and/or complications. Infant reflux usually has onset in the first few months of life, peaks at four months, and resolves in up to 88 percent of babies by 12 months, and in nearly all by 24 months. It may lead to more persistent symptoms or complications in infants with underlying chronic neurological, pulmonary and cardiac diseases.

Primary care providers are referred to the recent publication that provides evidence based guidelines and recommendations on the diagnosis and management of GER and GERD in infants and children.

References:
1. Rosen R et al. Pediatric GER Clinical Practice Guidelines: Joint Recommendations of the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition and the European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition. JPGN 2018;66: 516-554.