The diagnosis of GERD is made using some combination of symptom presentation, objective testing with endoscopy, ambulatory reflux monitoring, and response to antisecretory therapy. ( Table 2 ) The symptoms of heartburn and regurgitation are the most reliable for making a presumptive diagnosis based on history alone; however, these are not as sensitive as most believe. A systematic review of seven studies found the sensitivity of heartburn and regurgitation for the presence of erosive esophagitis to be 30–76% and the specificity from 62–96% (20). Empiric PPI therapy (a PPI trial) is a reasonable approach to confirm GERD when it is suspected in patients with typical symptoms. A response to therapy would ideally confirm the diagnosis; however, a well done meta-analysis suggested some limitations of this approach with a sensitivity of 78% and specificity of 54% (21). Therefore, empiric therapy (or a so called PPI trial) has some limitations.
The most common side effect of topical corticosteroid use is skin atrophy. All topical steroids can induce atrophy, but higher potency steroids, occlusion, thinner skin, and older patient age increase the risk. The face, the backs of the hands, and intertriginous areas are particularly susceptible. Resolution often occurs after discontinuing use of these agents, but it may take months. Concurrent use of topical tretinoin (Retin-A) % may reduce the incidence of atrophy from chronic steroid applications. 30 Other side effects from topical steroids include permanent dermal atrophy, telangiectasia, and striae.
The caudal approach to the epidural space involves the use of a Tuohy needle, an intravenous catheter, or a hypodermic needle to puncture the sacrococcygeal membrane . Injecting local anaesthetic at this level can result in analgesia and/or anaesthesia of the perineum and groin areas. The caudal epidural technique is often used in infants and children undergoing surgery involving the groin, pelvis or lower extremities. In this population, caudal epidural analgesia is usually combined with general anaesthesia since most children do not tolerate surgery when regional anaesthesia is employed as the sole modality.