Gastroesophageal reflux in infants

Alternative Names

Reflux – infants

Definition of Gastroesophageal reflux in infants

Gastroesophageal reflux is a condition in which stomach contents leak backward from the stomach into the esophagus (the tube from the mouth to the stomach) after eating. This article discusses reflux in infants.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

When a person eats, food passes from the throat to the stomach through the esophagus. The esophagus is called the food pipe or swallowing tube.

Signs and tests

The health care provider can often make the diagnosis based on the infant’s symptoms and physical examination.


If your baby or infant is spitting up more than you expect but is still growing well and seems content, no changes in feeding may be needed.

Expectations (prognosis)

The majority of infants outgrow this condition. In unusual cases, reflux may persist into childhood and can cause varying degrees of esophageal damage.


Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 8/2/2009

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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