Clinical Presentation of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease: A Prospective Study on Symptom Diversity and Modification of Questionnaire Application
AuthorBroderik, Ryan; Fuchs, Karl-Hermann; Breithaupt, Wolfram; Varga, Gabor; Schulz, Thomas; Babic, Benjamin; Lee, Arielle; Musial, Frauke; Horgan, Santiago
Introduction - Symptoms occurring in gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) such as heartburn, regurgitation, thoracic pain, epigastric pain, respiratory symptoms, and others can show a broad overlap with symptoms from other foregut disorders. The goal of this study is the accurate assessment of symptom presentation in GERD.
Methods - Patients with foregut symptoms were investigated for symptoms as well as endoscopy and gastrointestinal-functional studies for presence of GERD and symptom evaluation by standardized questionnaire. Questionnaire included a graded evaluation of foregut symptoms documenting severity and frequency of each symptom. The three types of questionnaires include study nurse solicitated, self-reported, and free-form self-reported by the patient.
Results - For this analysis, 1,031 GERD patients (572 males and 459 females) were enrolled. Heartburn was the most frequently reported chief complaint, seen in 61% of patients. Heartburn and regurgitation are the most common (82.4/58.8%, respectively) in overall symptom prevalence. With regard to modification in questionnaire technique, if patients fill in responses without prompting, there is a trend toward more frequent documentation of respiratory symptoms (up to 54.5% [p < 0.01]), fullness (up to 93.9%), and gas-related symptoms (p < 0.001). Self-reported symptoms are more diverse (e.g., throat-burning [12%], mouth-burning [9%], globus [6%], dyspnea [9%], and fatigue [7%]).
Conclusions - GERD symptoms are commonly heartburn and regurgitation, but overall symptom profile for patients may change depending on the type of questionnaire.