DIAGNOSING GERD REFLUX TESTING AND TREATMENT

Testing by a gastroenterologist (GI) can determine whether your symptoms are caused by GERD.

HOW IS GERD DIAGNOSED?

An initial diagnosis of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) may be made based on the frequency and severity of symptoms, along with a patient’s response to protein pump inhibitors (PPIs). However, neither symptoms nor a patient’s response to medication are enough to confirm a GERD diagnosis and identify an appropriate treatment. Objective testing by a gastroenterologist (GI) can determine whether your symptoms are caused by GERD.1,2

Man explains throat pain to male doctor.

ENDOSCOPY WITH BIOPSY

An endoscopy with biopsy is one of the most common tests physicians use to confirm a diagnosis of GERD. To have the procedure, you may first need a referral from your primary care physician to see a gastroenterologist.

The gastroenterologist will examine your esophagus and take a tissue sample for testing. This procedure can help identify complications that may support a diagnosis of GERD.

However, signs of GERD may not always be visible during the endoscopy. Therefore, your physician may recommend further diagnostic testing to assess your symptoms.4

ADDITIONAL DIAGNOSTIC TESTING AND TOOLS

Additional diagnostic testing may be necessary to help your doctor better understand whether the root cause of your symptoms is related to motility (swallowing disorder) or reflux.

Esophageal pH Test

An esophageal pH test uses a small catheter or capsule to measure pH levels (acid content) in your esophagus for up to 96 hours.1 This test also allows your gastroenterologist to measure the effect of PPI medication on pH levels and reflux symptoms.

The esophageal pH test:

  • Is a minimally invasive procedure
  • Allows you to continue regular daily activities and diet
  • Helps your physician make a confident diagnosis

ESOPHAGEAL IMPEDANCE PH TESTING SYSTEM

An esophageal impedance pH testing system collects data through the length of your esophagus and identifies different types of reflux events. Insights gained from reflux testing help your physician choose the right treatment option.

This testing system:

  • Measures acid and non-acid content in your esophagus
  • Monitors how long reflux events last
  • Helps your physician determine the root cause of your symptoms4
  • Confirms effectiveness of PPI medication3

High Resolution Manometry System

A high resolution manometry system helps physicians better diagnose conditions related to dysphagia through a swallowing test.

During this diagnostic procedure, you will be asked to take deep breaths or swallow a number of times. The high resolution manometry system detects and records the pressure resulting from these actions, which your doctor will review. The whole procedure takes roughly 10 minutes.

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Information and resources on this site should not be used as a substitute for medical advice from your doctor. Always discuss diagnosis and treatment information including risks with your doctor. Keep in mind that all treatment and outcome results are specific to the individual patient. Results may vary.

1

Richter J, Pandolfino J, Vela M, et al. Utilization of wireless pH monitoring technologies: a summary of the proceedings from the Esophageal Diagnostic working Group. Disease of the Esophagus, 2012 August 7, Page 8

2

Triadafilopoulos G, Zikos T, Regalia K, et al. Use of Esophageal pH Monitoring to Minimize Proton-Pump Inhibitor Utilization in Patients with Gastroesophageal Reflux Symptoms. Digestive Diseases And Sciences. 2018;63(10):2673-2680. doi:10.1007/s10620-018-5183-4

3

Gawron AJ, Pandolfino JE. Ambulatory reflux monitoring in GERD: which test should be performed and should therapy be stopped? Curr Gastroenterol Rep. 2013;15(4):316 Page 7

4

Sifrim D, Castell D, Dent J, Kahrilas PJ. Gastro-oesophageal reflux monitoring: review and consensus report on detection and definitions of acid, non-acid, and gas reflux. Gut. 2004;53(7):1024-1031. Page 1030