Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease Studies and Clinical Trials

Although the exact cause for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) remains unknown, recent studies indicate that a combination of several factors may be involved in the development of chronic heartburn, indigestion and reflux. Research is being conducted to help doctors identify additional GERD risk factors and learn more about how these factors increase the risk for and contribute to gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Studies also are exploring the association between heartburn and certain medical conditions, such as asthma, Barrett's esophagus, and throat infections (e.g., pharyngitis, laryngitis). Other research is being conducted to develop better methods for diagnosing GERD, to develop new treatments for the condition, and to discover ways to prevent chronic heartburn.

Areas of GERD research, newer treatments and treatment options that are being investigated in studies and clinical trials, include the following:

  • Benefits of treating reflux that is non-acidic or only mildly acidic
  • Endoscopic procedures to reduce gastroesophageal reflux (e.g., transesophageal radiofrequency [Stretta procedure], endoscopic suturing, endoscopic gastroplasty, endoscopic injection and implantation)
  • GERD medications
  • Linx™ Reflux Management System (minimally invasive procedure in which a magnetic band is implanted to help support the lower esophageal sphincter and prevent reflux)
  • Ways to treat GERD that has not responded to surgery (e.g., fundoplication)

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 17 Sep 2009

Last Modified: 17 Sep 2015