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Dyspepsia and Gastro-oesophageal Reflux

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SBU Assessment

Presents a comprehensive, systematic assessment of available scientific evidence for effects on health, social welfare or disability. Full assessments include economic, social and ethical impact analyses. Assessment teams include professional practitioners and academics. Before publication the report is reviewed by external experts, and scientific conclusions approved by the SBU Board of Directors.


Dyspepsia is a broad term for a range of symptoms – abdominal bloating after eating, early satiety, and pain or burning sensation in the upper gastrointestinal tract – that are assumed to originate from the stomach or duodenum. Dyspepsia is referred to as organic if clinical investigation can trace the symptoms to a demonstrable disease, such as a peptic ulcer or cancer, and functional if it cannot.

Heartburn and acid regurgitation are no longer considered to be symptoms of dyspepsia, but of gastro-oesophageal reflux (the backflow of acid or stomach contents into the oesophagus). Uninvestigated dyspepsia and uninvestigated reflux symptoms are those that have not been subjected to an oesophago-gastroduodenoscopy (OGD) or any other diagnostic examinations of the oesophagus, stomach and duodenum. Both the symptoms and underlying causes vary widely. Some patients may have peptic ulcers or oesophagitis (inflammation and superficial ulceration of the oesophagus), while others may have cancer.

How to cite this report: SBU. Dyspepsia and gastro-oesophageal reflux. Stockholm: Swedish Council on Health Technology Assessment in Health Care (SBU); 2007. SBU report no 185 (in Swedish).

Published: Report no: 185
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