Latin American consensus on diagnosis of gastroesophageal reflux disease

Jorge A. Olmos*, John E. Pandolfino, María M. Piskorz, Natalia Zamora, Miguel A. Valdovinos Díaz, José M. Remes Troche, Mauricio Guzmán, Albis Hani, Luis R. Valdovinos García, Hannah Pitanga Lukashok, Gerson Domingues, Eduardo Vesco, Mariel Mejia Rivas, Luis F.Pineda Ovalle, Daniel Cisternas, Marcelo F. Vela

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Diagnosing gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can be challenging given varying symptom presentations, and complex multifactorial pathophysiology. The gold standard for GERD diagnosis is esophageal acid exposure time (AET) measured by pH-metry. A variety of additional diagnostic tools are available. The goal of this consensus was to assess the individual merits of GERD diagnostic tools based on current evidence, and provide consensus recommendations following discussion and voting by experts. Methods: This consensus was developed by 15 experts from nine countries, based on a systematic search of the literature, using GRADE (grading of recommendations, assessment, development and evaluation) methodology to assess the quality and strength of the evidence, and provide recommendations regarding the diagnostic utility of different GERD diagnosis tools, using AET as the reference standard. Key Results: A proton pump inhibitor (PPI) trial is appropriate for patients with heartburn and no alarm symptoms, but nor for patients with regurgitation, chest pain, or extraesophageal presentations. Severe erosive esophagitis and abnormal reflux monitoring off PPI are clearly indicative of GERD. Esophagram, esophageal biopsies, laryngoscopy, and pharyngeal pH monitoring are not recommended to diagnose GERD. Patients with PPI-refractory symptoms and normal endoscopy require reflux monitoring by pH or pH-impedance to confirm or exclude GERD, and identify treatment failure mechanisms. GERD confounders need to be considered in some patients, pH-impedance can identify supragrastric belching, impedance-manometry can diagnose rumination. Conclusions: Erosive esophagitis on endoscopy and abnormal pH or pH-impedance monitoring are the most appropriate methods to establish a diagnosis of GERD. Other tools may add useful complementary information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere14735
JournalNeurogastroenterology and Motility
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2024


  • ambulatory reflux monitoring
  • gastroesophageal reflux disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Gastroenterology
  • Physiology


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