Background/aims: The purpose of upper gastrointestinal endoscopy in gastroesophageal reflux disease is to detect the complications; both Barrett esophagus and erosive esophagitis are common in developed countries. We aimed to investigate the ratio of esophageal complications in gastroesophageal reflux disease and the relationship between reflux symptoms and erosive esophagitis. Methods: Six hundred forty-five consecutive adult patients presenting to the Reflux Outpatient Clinic were evaluated prospectively. One hundred sixty patients who underwent upper gastrointestinal endoscopy and who complained of heartburn or regurgitation occurring at least weekly were selected. The complaints and general features of patients were queried via a detailed questionnaire. Results: Twenty-seven patients (17%) had endoscopic evidence of erosive esophagitis. Barrett esophagus was found in 3 patients (2%). Neither esophageal stricture nor adenocarcinoma was found. Esophagitis was low grade (grades A and B) in 25 of the 27 (92%) with erosive esophagitis. Patients with erosive esophagitis consumed less alcohol than patients with non-erosive reflux disease. No difference was found between the severity of symptoms in patients with erosive esophagitis and non-erosive reflux disease. Conclusions: Barrett esophagus and erosive esophagitis were less common compared to the literature although the study was conducted in a tertiary reference center for gastroesophageal reflux disease. The presence of severe symptoms in gastroesophageal reflux disease is not an indication for upper gastrointestinal endoscopy. No impact of Helicobacter pylori on the severity of esophagitis or symptoms was shown.