Gastro-oesophageal reflux (GOR) is a challenging yet common clinical situation faced in primary care that requires a judicious practical approach. The assessment of infants presenting with regurgitation and vomiting should be directed towards distinguishing infants with physiological GOR from those with pathological gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD). In most situations, an empathetic approach to manage expectations and provide reassurances where necessary is key.
Gastro-oesophageal reflux (GOR) is defined as the retrograde passage of stomach contents into the oesophagus. Its occurrence in infancy is a common reason for presentation to general practice.1 GOR may be associated with regurgitation (i.e. the expulsion of oesophageal contents proximal to the oesophagus) and/or vomiting. Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) denotes presentations where GOR is complicated by organic pathology, which may include oesophageal inflammation, respiratory tract infections, aspiration episodes or troublesome symptomatology.2