Tests for Acid Reflux

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To test acid reflux in GERD, the common measures are:

Upper endoscopy

Your doctor inserts a thin, flexible tube equipped with a light and camera (endoscope) down your throat, to examine the inside of your esophagus and stomach. Test results can often be normal when reflux is present, but an endoscopy may detect inflammation of the esophagus (esophagitis) or other complications. An endoscopy can also be used to collect a sample of tissue (biopsy) to be tested for complications such as Barrett’s esophagus.

Ambulatory acid (pH) probe test

A monitor is placed in your esophagus to identify when, and for how long, stomach acid regurgitates there. The monitor connects to a small computer that you wear around your waist or with a strap over your shoulder. The monitor might be a thin, flexible tube (catheter) that’s threaded through your nose into your esophagus, or a clip that’s placed in your esophagus during an endoscopy and that gets passed into your stool after about two days.

Esophageal manometry

This test measures the rhythmic muscle contractions in your esophagus when you swallow. Esophageal manometry also measures the coordination and force exerted by the muscles of your esophagus.

 

In some patients, acid reflux causes¬†chronic laryngitis or reflux-related laryngitis.¬†This group of patients commonly complain of throat issues, such as chronic cough, throat clearing, hoarseness, or sore throat. It’s called¬†Laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR).

There are two new tests for LPR:

1.Oropharyngeal pH monitoring (also called Restech pH probe)

The Restech pH probe is placed in the oropharynx, instead of the hypopharynx, and is purported to detect not only liquid but also vaporized acid refluxate, which some physicians suggest may be important in patients with LPR.

2.Salivary pepsin testing.

Salivary pepsin testing with a noninvasive rapid pepsin lateral flow device (LFD) uses 2 monoclonal antibodies to human pepsin to detect the presence of pepsin in the saliva. The primary premise of this test is that, as a constituent of gastric milieu, salivary pepsin would only be present if a patient has reflux; thus, a positive salivary pepsin test may confirm LPR.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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