Rather than doing a new study, the authors searched the medical literature from January 1980 through July 2003. They found 15 studies that involved patients with suspected GERD who received PPI treatment. Treatment with a PPI was short-term, lasting from 1 to 4 weeks. All of the patients also received tests for GERD, including pH monitoring, endoscopy, or standardized questionnaires. The researchers combined the results of the studies to see whether patients whose symptoms improved with PPI treatment had GERD and whether patients whose symptoms did not improve with PPI treatment did not have GERD.