Global Definition of GERD Set to Transform Current Clinical Practice

Madison, Wisconsin (ots/PRNewswire) - An international consensus group of the world's leading experts in gastroenterology today published the Montreal Definition(x) of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in the August issue of the American Journal of Gastroenterology. The global consensus definition is intended to provide a universal international platform for this common disease, aiming to support patient diagnosis and disease management, in primary care practice in particular.

The consensus group, comprising 43 experts from 18 countries, developed an evidence-based definition of GERD stating that this disease is "a condition which develops when the reflux of stomach contents causes troublesome symptoms and/or complications"[1]. The definition was developed over a two-year period using an internationally accepted and scientifically sound process (modified Delphi process).

Professor Nimish Vakil, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, who successfully chaired this process, explains that the previous lack of a globally accepted definition of GERD has led to increasing confusion over the symptoms of this disease, resulting in both over- and under-diagnosis.

"The Global Montreal Definition of GERD brings the broad range of symptoms and complications of GERD into one framework with a patient centred approach. For the first time, a global consensus on the definition of the disease now exists, providing a basis for a universally accepted terminology which bridges cultures and countries and will simplify disease management, assisting physicians and benefiting patients."

In the publication of the Global Montreal Definition the World Organization of Gastroenterology provides its strong endorsement, stating it to be an "important development in a critical area of gastroenterology worldwide."

Novel aspects of the new definition include a patient-centred approach that is independent of endoscopic findings, allowing GERD to be diagnosed on the basis of symptoms alone. This is important in primary care settings, as most GERD patients are managed in primary care. In addition, the Global Montreal Definition includes sub-classification of the disease into a range of distinct syndromes (esophageal and extra-esophageal) and recognition that chest pain, sleep disturbances, laryngitis, cough, asthma and dental erosions have established association to GERD. A new classification of Barrett's esophagus was also developed by the consensus group

This press release has been issued on behalf of Professor Nimish Vakil and the international Consensus Group

[1] Vakil N et al. Am J Gastroenterol 2006; 101:1-21

(x) "Montreal" is in the title because the results of the study were first presented at the World Congress of Gastroenterology in Montreal

Rückfragen & Kontakt:

For further enquiries please contact: Sarah Ballard, Hill & Knowlton
(UK) Ltd, +44-(0)20-7413-3199
(direct), +44-(0)7989-689-283 (mobile). Professor Nimish Vakil,
University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health,
nvakil@wisc.edu

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