Gastroesophageal reflux disease affects more than 10% of the adult population. Most patients can be effectively treated with lifestyle changes and adequate acid-reducing therapy. However, about 10% of the patients remain symptomatic despite treatment and severe complications may develop. Interestingly, some of these complications seem to be a sort of defensive mechanism that may either alleviate the patient's symptoms or prevent developing further complications. In Barrett's esophagus, which can be unambigously considered as a complication of gastroesophageal reflux disease, reflux symptoms ruining the quality of life may significantly improve, since the metaplastic Barrett epithelium is much more resistent to gastric acid, than the normal epithelial lining of the esophagus. Furthermore, the motility disorders (hypertensive lower esophageal sphincter, achalasia, cricopharyngeal achalasia) and structural changes (Schatzki's ring, esophageal stricture, subglottic trachea stenosis), which develop as a complication of reflux may help to prevent aspiration that can cause new complaints and may lead to further complications.
|Translated title of the contribution||Esophageal complications of gastroesophageal reflux disease: Consequences or defensive reactions?|
|Number of pages||7|
|Publication status||Published - May 1 2017|
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