Evidence-based clinical practice guidelines for gastroesophageal reflux disease 2015

J Gastroenterol. 2016 Aug;51(8):751-67. doi: 10.1007/s00535-016-1227-8. Epub 2016 Jun 21.


As an increase in gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) has been reported in Japan, and public interest in GERD has been increasing, the Japanese Society of Gastroenterology published the Evidence-based Clinical Practice Guidelines for GERD (1st edition) in 2009. Six years have passed since its publication, and there have been a large number of reports in Japan concerning the epidemiology, pathophysiology, treatment, and Barrett's esophagus during this period. By incorporating the contents of these reports, the guidelines were completely revised, and a new edition was published in October 2015. The revised edition consists of eight items: epidemiology, pathophysiology, diagnosis, internal treatment, surgical treatment, esophagitis after surgery of the upper gastrointestinal tract, extraesophageal symptoms, and Barrett's esophagus. This paper summarizes these guidelines, particularly the parts related to the treatment for GERD. In the present revision, aggressive proton pump inhibitor (PPI) maintenance therapy is recommended for severe erosive GERD, and on-demand therapy or continuous maintenance therapy is recommended for mild erosive GERD or PPI-responsive non-erosive GERD. Moreover, PPI-resistant GERD (insufficient symptomatic improvement and/or esophageal mucosal break persisting despite the administration of PPI at a standard dose for 8 weeks) is defined, and a standard-dose PPI twice a day, change in PPI, change in the PPI timing of dosing, addition of a prokinetic drug, addition of rikkunshito (traditional Japanese herbal medicine), and addition of histamine H2-receptor antagonist are recommended for its treatment. If no improvement is observed even after these treatments, pathophysiological evaluation with esophageal impedance-pH monitoring or esophageal manometry at an expert facility for diseases of the esophagus is recommended.

Keywords: Algorithm; Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD); Guideline; Heartburn; Japanese traditional medicine; Non-erosive reflux disease; Prokinetic drug; Proton pump inhibitor; Reflux esophagitis.

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alginates / therapeutic use
  • Algorithms
  • Antacids / therapeutic use
  • Barrett Esophagus / etiology
  • Evidence-Based Medicine / methods
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / complications
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / diagnosis
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / epidemiology
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / therapy*
  • Glucuronic Acid / therapeutic use
  • Hexuronic Acids / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors / therapeutic use


  • Alginates
  • Antacids
  • Hexuronic Acids
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors
  • Glucuronic Acid