Treat GERD-Associated Heartburn With Acid Suppressants

Proton pump inhibitors in GERD-associated heartburn are indicated to heal mucosal damage (erosive esophagitis).

Which of the following symptoms associated with GERD is most likely to respond to acid suppressants?

A. Regurgitation
B. Heartburn
C. Cough
D. Globus

Answer: B 

The objectives of acid suppressant therapy, such as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), in the management of GERD are to heal any mucosal damage (erosive esophagitis) and help control symptoms. Most patients have nonerosive reflux disease and the primary goal of treatment is symptom control. The two cardinal symptoms of GERD are heartburn and regurgitation. Atypical symptoms include cough, hoarseness, globus, chest pain, and halitosis. The symptom most likely to respond to PPIs is heartburn. Because PPIs do not alter lower esophageal sphincter function, patients may continue to experience regurgitation, since PPIs will reduce acidity but not the number of reflux episodes. Response of atypical symptoms is generally lower than that of typical symptoms.