Esophageal pH reflux Measurement to diagnose GERD
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pH Reflux measurement is used to detect the reflux of acid from the stomach into the esophagus. Patients with symptoms that suggest acid reflux undergo an investigation to diagnose GERD (Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease) and non-cardiac chest pain. During a 24 hour examination it can be demonstrated if patients suffer from acid pH in the esophagus for a greater than normal amount of time. Acid reflux disease can also be diagnosed by calculating the probability that reflux episodes and symptoms are related (symptom analysis).
To measure the pH, a catheter is introduced through one nostril of the patient into the esophagus. A pH sensor on the catheter is positioned just above the LES (lower esophageal Sphincter). The patient is sent home and during a 24 hour examination every acid reflux is recorded. It is also possible to use a catheter with more than one pH sensor, i.e. in the stomach or esophagus.