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Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology
Volume 21 (2007), Issue 11, Pages 737-741
Original Article

Endoscopic pH Monitoring for Patients with Suspected or Refractory Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

Brian G Turner,1 John R Saltzman,1 Ling Hua,1 Rie Maurer,1 Natan Feldman,1 David L Carr-Locke,1 Robert Burakoff,1 and Julia J Liu2

1Division of Gastroenterology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
2Division of Gastroenterology, University of Alberta Hospital, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Received 23 January 2007; Accepted 17 March 2007

Copyright © 2007 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


BACKGROUND: Wireless pH studies can offer prolonged pH monitoring, which may potentially facilitate the diagnosis and management of patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). The aim of the present study was to evaluate the detection rate of abnormal esophageal acid exposure using prolonged pH monitoring in patients with suspected or refractory GERD symptoms.

METHODS: Patients undergoing prolonged ambulatory pH studies for the evaluation of GERD-related symptoms were assessed. Patients with a known diagnosis of GERD were tested on medical therapy, while patients with suspected GERD were tested off therapy. The wireless pH capsules were placed during upper endoscopy 6 cm above the squamocolumnar junction.

RESULTS: One hundred ninety-one patients underwent a total of 198 pH studies. Fifty ambulatory pH studies (25%) were excluded from the analysis: 27 patients (14%) had insufficient data capture (less than 18 h on at least one day of monitoring), 15 patients had premature capsule release (7%), seven were repeat studies (3.5%) and one had intolerable pain requiring capsule removal (0.5%). There were 115 patients undergoing pH studies who were off medication, and 33 patients were on therapy. For the two groups of patients, results were as follows: 32 (28%) and 22 (67%) patients with normal studies on both days; 58 (50%) and five (15%) patients with abnormal studies on both days; 18 (16%) and three (9%) patients with abnormal studies on day 1 only; and seven (6%) and three (9%) patients with abnormal studies on day 2 only, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: Prolonged 48 h pH monitoring can detect more abnormal esophageal acid exposure but is associated with a significant rate of incomplete studies.