Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease is one of the most common disorders of the gastrointestinal tract. Over past decades, considerable shifts in thinking about the disease have taken place. At a time when radiology was the only diagnostic test available, reflux disease was regarded as synonymous with hiatus hernia. After the advent of the flexible endoscope, reflux disease was, for a period, equated to oesophagitis. The introduction of oesophageal pH monitoring made us believe that reflux disease could be defined by an abnormally high proportion of time with oesophageal pH less than 4. Moreover, the successive arrival of histamine-2-receptor antagonists and proton-pump inhibitors changed our idea of treatment for the disease, with swings from and towards surgery, endoscopic techniques, and alternative pharmaceutical options.
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