In a study comprising 100 patients referred to a surgical clinic with symptoms suggestive of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease the value of different diagnostic procedures was investigated. Positive acid perfusion and 24-h pH tests were the commonest findings. Forty-nine per cent showed a normal oesophageal mucosa or diffuse oesophagitis at endoscopy. The severity of heartburn and regurgitation did not differ between patients with normal oesophageal mucosa and oesophagitis of various severities. The severity of macroscopic oesophagitis was significantly correlated to the total reflux time, the presence of reflux or a hiatal hernia at radiology, an open cardia or reflux at endoscopy, pressure transmission or reflux and low lower oesophageal sphincter pressure at manometry. Gastric hypersecretion was found in 66% of the patients. Gastric acid secretion was not correlated to the severity of oesophagitis or to the findings at 24-h pH test. In patients with severe oesophagitis the sensitivity for radiologic, manometric, and endoscopic signs of incompetence of the gastro-oesophageal junction was 94%.