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heartburn (hahrt´bәrn)   a burning sensation in the esophagus, or below the sternum in the region of the heart, one of the common symptoms of indigestion. This often occurs when there is distention of a part of the esophagus, particularly the lower part, such as with gastroesophageal reflux (regurgitation by the stomach of part of its contents upward into the esophagus); since the stomach contents are acidic, they are irritating and cause pain in the esophagus. Called also pyrosis.




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