New Research Could Change Clinical Practice for Cases of Unmanaged Heartburn

A study published today in The New England Journal of Medicine found that in patients seen for heartburn unresponsive to treatment with Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs), an extensive, systematic workup revealed truly PPI-refractory and reflux-related heartburn in only a minority of cases. In other words, most patients with heartburn unrelieved by PPIs did not have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) causing the symptom. Furthermore, for the selected subgroup identified as having reflux-related, PPI-refractory heartburn, surgery that corrects reflux was significantly superior (67% success rate) to continued medical therapy (28% success rate).

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