BACKGROUND/AIMS: This study was done to evaluate the efficacy of rabeprazole (proton-pump-inhibitor) and ranitidine (H2-receptor antagonist) in the symptom relief and treatment of erosive esophagitis diagnosed by endoscopy. METHODS: A total of 110 patients with typical gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) symptoms were enrolled in this multicenter study. They were randomized into rabeprazole group (53 patients) and ranitidine group (57 patients) respectively. The patients in rabeprazole group were given 10 mg of rabeprazole and ranitidine group received 300 mg of ranitidine before breakfast and dinner for 8 weeks. After the end of treatment, we evaluated the endoscopic healing rate of reflux esophagitis and symptomatic improvement. RESULTS: After 8 weeks of treatment, rabeprazole group showed significantly higher complete endoscopic cure rate than ranitidine group (86.8% [46/53] vs. 57.9% [33/57], p=0.001) and higher symptomatic improvement of heartburn (91.2% [31/34] vs. 76.2% [32/42], p=0.085), especially in the first 7 days (76.7% vs. 45.3%, p=0.008). Also, rabeprazole group showed significantly higher improvement of regurgitation symptom than ranitidine group (100% [35/35] vs. 83% [39/47], p=0.009). Both group showed no differences in the improvement of chest pain and globus sensation. All the adverse events (rabeprazole group 4 events vs. ranitidine group 3 events) were mild and there was no abnormality in laboratory test. CONCLUSIONS: In patients with GERD, rabeprazole 10 mg b.i.d. is superior to ranitidine 300 mg b.i.d. in healing of reflux esophagitis and resolving typical GERD symptoms. Rabeprazole is an effective and well-tolerated drug for GERD treatment.