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Symptoms, Signs, and Complications

The most prominent symptom is heartburn, with or without regurgitation of gastric contents into the mouth. Complications of GERD include esophagitis (see Plate 20-4), esophageal stricture (see Plate 20-5), esophageal ulcer, and Barrett's metaplasia (see Plate 20-6). Esophagitis may cause odynophagia and even hemorrhage, which can be massive. Peptic stricture causes a gradually progressive dysphagia for solid foods. Peptic esophageal ulcers cause the same type of pain as gastric or duodenal ulcers but are usually localized to the xiphoid or high substernal region. They heal slowly, tend to recur, and usually leave a stricture on healing.


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