How is gastroesophageal reflux classified?

Updated: Mar 14, 2019
  • Author: Steven M Schwarz, MD, FAAP, FACN, AGAF; Chief Editor: Carmen Cuffari, MD  more...
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Gastroesophageal reflux is classified as follows (see Presentation, Workup, Treatment, and Medication):

  • Physiologic (or functional) gastroesophageal reflux - These patients have no underlying predisposing factors or conditions; growth and development are normal, and pharmacologic treatment is typically not necessary

  • Pathologic gastroesophageal reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) - Patients frequently experience the complications noted above, requiring careful evaluation and treatment [4]

  • Secondary gastroesophageal reflux - This refers to a case in which an underlying condition may predispose to gastroesophageal reflux; examples include asthma (a condition which may also be, in part, caused by or exacerbated by reflux) and gastric outlet obstruction

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