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Diagnosing Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

PH Monitor Examination


Updated November 11, 2010

Photo by A.D.A.M.

Esophageal pH Monitoring

This procedure is done with a thin, plastic tube with a sensor that measures the amount of acid backing up into the esophagus. This procedure is often done when GERD symptoms are present but an endoscope exam doesn't detect.

What can be expected if the doctor orders pH monitoring?
  • The doctor inserts a tubular probe through the nose and into the esophagus. The tube stops just above the lower esophageal sphincter (LES).

  • The tube is left in place for 24 hours. The patient is encouraged to engage in normal activities.

  • The patient keeps a record of any symptoms that are suspected to be acid reflux. The patient also will record other symptoms, such as coughing and wheezing. This can help the doctor determine if acid reflux is related to unexplained asthmatic or other respiratory symptoms.

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