Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) Among ICU Survivors


Gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a condition characterized by reflux of stomach contents causing troublesome symptoms and complications. Typical symptoms include heart burn (a retrosternal burning sensation), regurgitation (perception of flow of refluxed stomach content into the mouth or hypopharynx) and chest pain. As per recently published global guidelines (2017) by World Gastroenterology Organisation (WGO), the presence of heartburn and/or regurgitation symptoms 2 or more times a week is suggestive of GERD. Global burden of GERD in general population is approximately 1.03 billion, the prevalence of GERD varies geographically, with the highest prevalence of 19.55% in North America while in Asia, the estimated rate is 12.92%. However the data regarding the prevalence of GERD in intensive care unit (ICU) population is not yet established; which is expected higher after recovery from their current acute illness. In a healthy individual, several factors contribute to the prevention of reflux and to minimizing esophageal acid exposure: lower esophageal sphincter (LES) pressure, the diaphragmatic crura, gravity, esophageal peristalsis, salivary bicarbonate and the integrity of esophageal epithelium. But in critically ill these factors are compromised leading to high incidence of GERD. Interventions commonly used in managing critically ill patients such as sedation, presence of an endotracheal tube, mechanical ventilation, enteral tube feedings, positioning, and medications, along with specific patient characteristics and comorbid conditions contribute to an increased risk for GERD in this population. GERD results in various symptoms which has impact on quality of life. Various reliable and validated generic and disease specific instruments are available to measure symptom severity of the disease. In our study, among GERD patients, commonly and freely available GERD-Health-related quality of life (GERD-HRQL) score will be used which is a disease-specific instrument. This observational study will screen and enroll adult patients who survived at the time of ICU discharge.

Full Title of Study: “Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease and Its Health-related Quality of Life Among ICU Survivors”

Study Type

  • Study Type: Observational [Patient Registry]
  • Study Design
    • Time Perspective: Prospective
  • Study Primary Completion Date: May 2023

Detailed Description

During study period, all patients who survived at the time of ICU discharge will be considered as per inclusion and exclusion criteria. All eligible patients will be screened for the presence of GERD. If GERD present, they will be followed for their symptoms after 6 week of the ICU discharge. Patients who did not having GERD at the time of ICU discharge will also be followed for the presence of GERD symptoms at 6 weeks after ICU discharge, if they develop GERD symptoms then they will be followed up again for next 6 weeks. In patients who had GERD symptoms, HRQL score will be collected including 6-week follow up, after obtaining the informed written consent. Demographic and clinical characteristics of all eligible patients will be collected on structured proforma. ICU prognostication scores, i.e., Acute Physiologic and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE) II score and Sequential Organ Dysfunction Assessment (SOFA) will be noted. All relevant and possible risk factors during ICU stay will also be collected. Patients with GERD, GERD-HRQL score will be collected, including 6-week follow-up. At the time of ICU discharge, patient will be asked for the preference for the way of communication during follow-up with the option of pre-stamped envelope for postal with questionnaire. Patient will be handed over these envelopes with mention of pre-defined follow-up date for that particular patient. In case patient has plan for SGPGIMS visit for his/her pre-scheduled follow-up with any specialty, then data for present study will be collected in person.

Clinical Trial Outcome Measures

Primary Measures

  • Prevalence of Gatroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) among ICU survivors
    • Time Frame: 12 weeks after ICU discharge
    • Percentage of ICU survivors among whom GERD present

Secondary Measures

  • GERD-Health-related quality of life (GERD-HRQL) score among GERD present patients
    • Time Frame: 12 weeks after ICU discharge
    • GERD-HRQL score will be measured two times (6 weeks apart)

Participating in This Clinical Trial

Inclusion Criteria

  • Adult patients (>18 years) who survived at the time of ICU discharge Exclusion Criteria:

  • ICU stay <96 hours – At the time of ICU discharge GCS <15 – Presence of open abdomen (post surgery) – Presence of feeding tube at the time of ICU discharge – Presence of abdominal drain or PEG tube at the time of ICU discharge – Presence of tracheostomy tube at the time of ICU discharge – Patient who do not provide written consent – Pregnancy

Gender Eligibility: All

Minimum Age: 18 Years

Maximum Age: N/A

Are Healthy Volunteers Accepted: No

Investigator Details

  • Lead Sponsor
    • Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences
  • Provider of Information About this Clinical Study
    • Principal Investigator: Mohan Gurjar, Professor, Critical Care Medicine – Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences
  • Overall Official(s)
    • Mohan Gurjar, MD, PDCC, Principal Investigator, Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGIMS)
  • Overall Contact(s)
    • Mohan Gurjar, MD, PDCC, +91-522-2495403,

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