Esophageal Manometry and 24 hour pH
Esophageal Manometry is a test, which is designed to measure the muscle contractions in the esophagus. The esophagus is the swallowing tube that transports solids and liquids from the throat to the stomach. Normally there are muscle waves, like waves in the ocean, which move the contents toward the stomach. This would occur even if you swallowed while upside down! Sometimes the waves are too weak to move the food, or sometimes too strong. In some situations there are no waves. All of these abnormalities could cause various symptoms such as difficulty swallowing, or chest pain that is felt not to be from the heart. Esophageal Manometry can help to identify muscle problems in the esophagus. Many of these problems can be treated in various ways, which your doctor will discuss with you
24-hour pH is a test which measures how often acid from the stomach washes up into the esophagus. This test requires the patient to go home with a thin tube in the nose that will record the number of reflux episodes and store the information on a small computer. A diary is also kept to record meal times and any symptoms during the test period. This test is very useful when trying to prove if certain symptoms such as chest pain, chronic cough or hoarseness are due to reflux of acid. The test can also determine if acid-reducing medications are effective. 24-hour pH requires esophageal manometry first to identify the proper tube position.
- These tests are performed in the Gastrointestinal Procedure Unit of Abington Memorial Hospital (ground floor of the Widener Building). These tests can require up to 90 minutes to perform and do not require an overnight stay. Sedatives are not used since they can affect the results of the test. A specially trained nurse will perform the test, and a Board-Certified Gastroenterologist will analyze the results.
- A flexible probe is passed through the nose into the esophagus. During this part of the test, there may be discomfort and/or gagging. Once the tube is placed, the nurse will guide you through the procedure often asking you to take deep breaths or swallow small amounts of water.
- Results of the test will be sent to the doctor who ordered the test. If you would like results to go to other physicians, please tell the nurse at the time of the test.
- If you require referrals for testing, then your primary doctor must give two referrals: one referral for Abington Memorial Hospital and one for Gastrointestinal Associates Inc. One of the nurses from the gastrointestinal procedure unit will schedule the procedure with you by phone. At that time, further details will be provided as well as pre-procedure instructions.